December 13, 2023 | Flash Brief

Ten Israeli Soldiers Killed in Gaza Fighting

December 13, 2023 | Flash Brief

Ten Israeli Soldiers Killed in Gaza Fighting

Latest Developments

Ten Israeli soldiers were killed in fighting in northern Gaza, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said on December 13. The soldiers were clearing an area in Shujaiya, a dense urban neighborhood next to Gaza City, when terrorists ambushed them. Members of the IDF Golani brigade and combat engineers were among the casualties. The losses are some of the heaviest for Israel in a single day since Hamas initiated the war by attacking Israel on October 7. Some 444 IDF soldiers were killed on and since October 7, more than 100 of them since ground operations in Gaza began.

Expert Analysis

“Hamas terrorists continue to pose a threat in neighborhoods in northern Gaza. This illustrates the importance of systematically demolishing Hamas terrorist infrastructure in Gaza, including underground tunnels. The terrorist groups riddled Gaza with weapons and tunnels, exploiting civilian areas to attack Israel and stockpile weapons. It is essential that the IDF have the necessary time to uproot all of the terrorist hideouts in Gaza.” — Seth J. Frantzman, FDD Adjunct Fellow

“Despite the ongoing collapse of Hamas in areas of the Gaza Strip, it and other Palestinian terrorist organizations remain persistent threats to the safety of Israeli troops. Unsearched buildings and tunnels stand as significant contributing factors allowing terrorists to ambush Israeli soldiers.” — Joe Truzman, Research Analyst at FDD’s Long War Journal

Israel Strikes 250 Terror Targets

The IDF struck 250 terror targets in Gaza on December 12 and 13. “IDF troops identified a terrorist cell in the area of Shujaiya that was en route to launch rockets toward Israel. The troops directed an IAF aircraft to strike the terrorist cell and rocket launcher,” the IDF said. Terrorists in Gaza fired rockets at the Israeli city of Sderot and smaller communities near Gaza on December 13. Hamas rocket fire has decreased over the last month, and the terrorists often manage only one barrage a day against Israeli cities.

Heavy Fighting in Neighborhoods in Gaza

The IDF continues to fight Hamas terrorists in northern and southern Gaza, IDF spokesperson Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari said on the evening of December 12. “The fighting in Hamas’ centers of gravity continues in full force in Khan Yunis, Jabalia, and Saja’iya [Shujaiya], both above and below ground. As seen in the footage from the battlefield, this fighting is complex, involving face to face engagement of Hamas terrorists emerging from the tunnels,” he said. “We locate them in houses, shoot at them, enter, and kill them.” Footage released by the IDF on December 13 of the close-quarters combat in Shujaiya showed soldiers in house-to-house fighting.

Israel Recovers Remains of Two Additional Hostages,” FDD Flash Brief

Israel, U.S. Disagree on Post-War Gaza Rule,” FDD Flash Brief

Hamas in Northern Gaza at Breaking Point, Israel Says,” FDD Flash Brief


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