Attack That Killed 8 IDF Soldiers Caused By Anti-Tank Missile: Israeli Media

(MENAFN- IANS) Tel Aviv, June 17 (IANS/DPA) The Israeli army assumes that an anti-tank missile was used in an attack on an Israeli armoured vehicle in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, which killed eight soldiers, Israeli media reported on Monday.

The incident, which occurred on Saturday, is one of the most serious for the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) since the start of the war more than eight months ago.

Initial findings showed that a door of the Namer armoured personnel carrier was open contrary to instructions, the newspaper Israel Hayom wrote on Monday.

All of the vehicle's occupants were killed instantly when the rocket hit the vehicle. The incident is still being investigated.

Other media reported possible secondary explosions caused by explosive devices attached to the outside of the tank. It took two hours after the heavy explosion before troops were able to approach the destroyed vehicle.

According to military sources, the soldiers had been travelling in a convoy of armoured vehicles after an operation in the northwest of Rafah. It was initially reported that it was unclear whether the explosion was caused by an anti-tank missile or a booby trap.

The military arm of the Palestinian Islamist terrorist organisation Hamas claimed responsibility for the attack.

Israel wants to eliminate one of Hamas' last strongholds in Rafah.

The IDF has been stepping up ground operations against Hamas there since the beginning of May but wants this to be understood as a limited operation, not a large-scale offensive.

US President Joe Biden had declared the latter to be a "red line". Due to the many deaths and the catastrophic humanitarian situation, Israel's actions in the Gaza war are internationally controversial.



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