Israel says 24 soldiers killed in Gaza in one day

The Israeli army says 24 of its soldiers were killed in Gaza on Monday – the deadliest day for its forces since their ground operation began.

That includes 21 reservists who died in an explosion likely caused by mines that Israeli forces had placed in two buildings to demolish them, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said.

It is thought a missile fired by Palestinian armed fighters hit a tank guarding the troops just beforehand.

The IDF is investigating what happened.

According to Gaza’s Hamas-run Health Ministry, 195 Palestinians have been killed in the past day.

The IDF’s chief spokesman, Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari, said the reservists were killed in central Gaza at around 16:00 (14:00 GMT) on Monday – close to the kibbutz of Kissufim on the Israeli side of the border.

They were involved in an operation to allow for residents of southern Israel to safely return to their homes after tens of thousands were evacuated after the Hamas attack on 7 October.

The first funerals for those killed in the explosion have been held at Mount Herzl in a rainy Jerusalem.

Many of the mourners wore military uniforms and the scene was full of blue and white Israeli flags.

Israel’s military had already confirmed that three officers were killed in a separate attack in southern Gaza on Monday.

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