The Israeli military has said one of its soldiers was killed by an anti-tank missile reportedly shot by the Palestinian armed group Hamas during a raid into the Gaza Strip by the Israeli Army.
Three other soldiers were injured in the raid on Sunday, said the statement that came as the Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of Hamas, announced on its Telegram account that it had pushed Israeli forces back into Israel.
Keep readinglist of 4 items
One Israeli soldier was killed, while “one was moderately injured, and two were lightly injured as a result of an anti-tank missile”, the Israeli military said.
The military said the purpose of the raid was to locate Hamas captives in Gaza’s Khan Younis area and to “thwart terrorist infrastructure”.
Israeli forces have been conducting raids across the border that they say are meant to clear the area and gather intelligence about captives being held by Hamas.
According to Al Jazeera’s Tareq Abu Azzoum, reporting from Khan Younis in Gaza, the raids are forcing Hamas to prepare for a long-speculated ground invasion by Israel.
“These kinds of Israeli attempts to enter the Gaza Strip [are being] confronted by the Palestinian fighters, who are trying to get ready enough in order to confront any possible, potential ground invasion inside the besieged territory,” Azzoum said.
He added that the situation on the ground is “really dramatic” and that the security conditions inside the Gaza Strip are “unpredictable”.
Al Jazeera’s Mohammed Jamjoom, reporting from occupied East Jerusalem, said the killing of the soldier is something the Israeli army will be “taking very seriously” as the war continues.
The incident occurred as Israel has continued to bomb the Gaza Strip for more than two weeks, in response to a surprise incursion by Hamas into Israel on October 7.