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Five more Israeli soldiers killed by friendly fire in north Gaza

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) announced on Thursday that five Israeli soldiers were killed and three were seriously injured in an incident in northern Gaza, following the lifting of an information embargo.

Published May 16,2024
Five Israeli soldiers have been killed and three seriously injured in an incident in northern Gaza, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said on Thursday after an information embargo was lifted.

According to Israeli media reports, the soldiers were killed by friendly fire from Israeli tanks during battles against militants on Wednesday.

The tanks reportedly fired on a building in the refugee camp of Jabalia where the soldiers were staying. Those operating the tanks had mistaken the soldiers for armed Palestinians, it said.

According to the Jerusalem Post, the armoured vehicles had been under heavy pressure at the time because they had been shot at with dozens of anti-tank grenades in battles with Palestinian fighters. As a result, all the viewing slits and the top hatch of the tanks were said to have been closed for protection.

According to the army, Wednesday's incident brings the number of Israeli soldiers killed since the start of the Gaza war on October 7 to 626. Around 3,500 others have been injured.

An unprecedented deadly attack led by Hamas on Israel on October 7, which killed some 1,200 people and led to another 250 being taken hostage in the Gaza Strip, triggered a massive military response by the Jewish State.

The health authority in Gaza says some 35,000 Palestinians have been killed in the fighting since.

The international community has pleaded with Israel to avoid another humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza by attacking the southern city of Rafah, which borders Egypt and has seen waves of refugees from areas of the coastal strip already bombarded by Israeli troops.

Israel says it is searching for Hamas members and has already begun its Rafah operation.

To try to help the humanitarian situation, the US military has been building a temporary harbour in Gaza for the delivery of relief supplies.

On Thursday, the US Central Command (CENTCOM) said it had completed construction.

The pier was anchored on the coast, CENTCOM wrote on social media platform X, stressing that US soldiers had not entered the embattled coastal strip.

"Trucks carrying humanitarian assistance are expected to begin moving ashore in the coming days," it said. "The United Nations will receive the aid and coordinate its distribution into Gaza."

The temporary harbour, which took weeks to complete, is to serve as a hub for the delivery of aid supplies as Gaza itself has no harbour deep enough for larger cargo vessels.

According to earlier Pentagon statements, around 90 lorry loads per day will initially reach the Gaza Strip via the floating pier. At a later stage, up to 150 lorry loads per day are expected.