On Monday January 22, 21 Israeli soldiers were killed as a result of a rocket-propelled grenade attack by a Palestinian militant that set off a secondary explosion, in the deadliest single attack against Israeli military forces in Gaza.
The soldiers were planting explosives to blow up 10 civilian houses in the Maghazi refugee camp in Gaza when the attack took place.
The attack was reported in a statement by the Izz Al-Qassam Brigades, which said that the group “carried out a complex operation east of Maghazi camp, targeting a house where an engineering unit of the Israeli army stationed,” and hitting it with “an anti-personnel shell, causing the ammunition and engineering equipment in the possession of the unit to explode.”
With the house being completely destroyed, the operation also targeted an Israeli tank near the location.
The Israeli soldiers killed were reportedly planting explosives dedicated to blow up 10 civilian houses in the Maghazi refugee camp in Gaza under pretexts of “purifying the area”. As such, it was one out of the many attacks by Israeli forces intentionally and explicitly targeting civilian structures.
In response to the attack, Israeli military forces have claimed that they have encircled the southern Gaza city of Khan Younis, which has been under significant bombardment since the beginning of the escalations in October 2023.
While considered the deadliest attack against the Israeli military in Gaza, the death toll of Israeli soldiers remains dismal compared to that of Palestinian civilians killed since October, which has reached over 25,000 Palestinians.
Failed Military Objectives and Mounting Pressures
With such incidents taking place, the purported goal of Israeli authorities to “eliminate Hamas” seems increasingly unrealistic. The attacks by Israeli forces in Gaza, Lebanon, Syria and other countries of the region have been carried out under the pretext of this goal – a claim even Israel’s staunchest allies have started to doubt.
Both internally and externally, Israeli authorities have been under significant pressure, starting with the global campaigns of solidarity with the Palestinian people and the demonstrations across the world to put an end to Israel’s genocidal campaign, to South Africa taking Israel to court, all the way to Israel’s European and US allies opposing its policies.
Meetings between US and Israeli governmental figures have reportedly turned increasingly tense, as Israelis continually reject pleas for de-escalation and reject Palestinian people’s strive for a life without occupation.
Such discord has not translated to US and certain European countries ceasing their material and military support to Israeli forces, as the latter increasingly use British-supplied weaponry and German and US taxpayer money.
Internally, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government has been under increasing pressures, especially by families of Israeli hostages held in Gaza who stormed the Knesset earlier this week.
As matters stand, Israeli authorities have announced that they plan on continuing military operations and have shown no sign of de-escalating. More recently, Israeli foreign minister Israel Katz suggested a plan to build an artificial island for Palestinians off the Gazan coast, adding to a long list of feather-brained schemes proposed by Israeli authorities.