3 IDF soldiers killed as fighting intensifies in Gaza's Khan Younis area

Tel Aviv, Jan 23 (IANS) The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) has announced the death of three of its officers as fighting between Israeli troops and Hamas terrorists intensified in the Khan Younis region of southern Gaza, an IDF official said.

The deceased are identified as Major David Nati Alfasi, 27, a deputy battalion commander from Beersheba, Major Ilay Levy, 24, a company commander from Tel Aviv, and Captain Eyal Mevorach Twito, 22, a platoon commander from Beit Gamliel.

IDF in a statement said that the three soldiers were killed in an RPG attack on the building where they were present.

Palestinian health authorities said that at least 50 Palestinians were killed in the fighting at the Khan Younis area.

As fighting intensified in Khan Younis area, people are evacuating in large numbers from the place and moving down south into Rafah, the southernmost city of Gaza.

More than two million people are reportedly now in Rafah area following displacement due to heavy Israeli bombings.

The IDF has also said that it knows about the large civilian presence in the area and that its action against the Hamas terrorists will be keeping this factor in mind.

The Israel Defence Minister, Yoav Gallant, had said on Sunday that IDF would intensify its attack on Khan Younis area where the two topmost military leaders of Hamas — Mohammed Deif and Yahya Sinwar — are reportedly hiding surrounded by Israeli hostages.



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