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5 Israeli soldiers killed by friendly fire in northern Gaza

The Israeli military said Thursday that five soldiers were killed and seven wounded in friendly fire in northern Gaza, amid renewed fighting in the area against regrouped Hamas militants.

The Israeli military said it had opened an investigation into the deadly incident, which it said occurred when soldiers were hit by tank crossfire in Jabalia.

Three of the injured are in serious condition, the Israeli army added. The troops were members of the 202nd Battalion of the Parachute Brigade.

“An initial investigation into the deaths of five IDF soldiers reveals that IDF tanks, dozens of meters away, identified a weapon and fired shells at a nearby IDF force,” the Israeli military said in a statement. a statement.

“This force had entered the northern part of Gaza and occupied buildings along a logistics route. The tanks fired two shells for unclear reasons, wounding seven other soldiers, three of them seriously.”

The statement added that the Israeli army was “investigating why the shells were fired and whether the soldiers were mistaken for armed militants.”

Seven months into their war to eliminate Hamas, Israeli forces are again engaged in intense fighting in areas of northern Gaza that the IDF earlier said had been cleared, renewing doubts about the government’s strategy in the war.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu nevertheless insists on invading Rafah, where his troops have stepped up operations since calling on residents in the east of the city to evacuate last week.

At least 600,000 people have been forced to flee parts of Gaza’s southernmost city, where more than a million Palestinians have sought refuge, according to the United Nations.

The slow increase in aid to the Gaza Strip in recent months could also be wiped out due to Israel’s attack on Rafah, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Wednesday: with one critical aid passage closed and another restricted.

US Central Command announced Thursday morning that it had successfully anchored a temporary humanitarian pier on a Gaza beach to increase the flow of aid.

“Trucks carrying humanitarian aid should start disembarking in the coming days,” he said in a message on X.