The five fallen soldiers
The five fallen soldiersCourtesy of the families

Five IDF soldiers, all of whom fought in Battalion 202 of the Paratroopers Brigade, fell in battle in northern Gaza.

The IDF named the fallen as:

  • Captain Roy Beit Yaakov, 22 years old from the town of Eli
  • Staff Sergeant Gilad Arye Boim, 22 years old from Karnei Shomron in Samaria
  • Sergeant Daniel Chemu, 20 years old from Tiberias
  • Sergeant Ilan Cohen, 20 years old from Carmiel
  • Staff Sergeant Betzalel David Shashuah, 21 years old from Tel Aviv

Their families have been notified.

Roy is the son of Hadas and Avidan, the town's chairman. He is also an alumnus of the Eli pre-military academy, and its 21st fallen soldier.

Binyamin Regional Council chair Israel Ganz, who is also the YESHA Council chairman, said, "The family, the town of Eli - whose residents and alumni are on the front lines of the war - and the entire Binyamin Region, are in great pain."

"How great is the pain involved in the nation of Israel's renewal in its Land. How many heroes do we have, who sacrifice their lives so that we will win and live here, in the Land of Israel, with peace and security. In their merit, we will win."

The funeral will take place Thursday at 3:00p.m. at the military cemetery on Mount Herzl.

Eight other soldiers were injured in the incident, three of them seriously. The rest were evacuated to hospitals in moderate and mild condition. The number of IDF casualties since the beginning of the war has risen to 626.

On Wednesday morning, soldiers from Battalion 202 entered to secure a route in the refugee camp, accompanied by a pair of tanks from Battalion 82, Brigade 7. The soldiers positioned themselves in a building next to the tanks, which also housed the company headquarters. The tanks secured the route, had their hatches closed, and at some point also communicated with the deputy platoon commander who was passing by them.

On Wednesday evening around 19:00, the tanks identified a muzzle flashing from a window of the building. The tanks fired two shells at the building where the paratroopers were positioned on the first floor. Five soldiers were killed from the haredi Chetz paratroopers platoon. In addition, eight soldiers were injured, including three who are in serious condition.

The IDF is investigating the incident defined as friendly fire and, among other things, checking if the tank crews crossed the boundaries set for them, if there was a misidentification, and if a high operational tension led to the hasty decision to fire the tank's main gun.