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IDF releases names of five more soldiers killed in Rafah explosion

IDF releases names of five more soldiers killed in Rafah explosion

One day after a Namer armored engineer vehicle was attacked by an anti-tank missile all eight soldiers inside were killedThe IDF spokesman allowed the publication of the names of five of the killed soldiers on Sunday morning, all from the 601st Battalion of the Combat Engineering Corps.

The serious incident occurred in the early hours of Saturday morning when a massive explosion occurred in an armored vehicle near the Tel a-Sultan refugee camp.

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Sis soldiers killed in the Namer explosion whose names have been released for publication

(Photo: IDF Spokesperson Unit)

The names of the dead soldiers released on Sunday are Sergeant Eliyahu Moshe Zimbalist, 21, of Beit Shemesh; Sergeant Itay Amar, 19, of Kochav Yair; Staff Sergeant Stanislav Kostarev, 21, of Ashdod; Staff Sergeant Orr Blumovitz, 20, of Parders Hana; and Staff Sergeant Oz Yeshaia Gruber, 20, of Tal Menashe. On Saturday evening, the name of Among the dead was 23-year-old Captain Wassem Mahmoud from Beit Jann.

The names of two other fallen soldiers are expected to be released later on Sunday.

The attack occurred at about 5:15 a.m. in the southern Gaza Strip. Before the incident, an engineer squad attached to the Givati ​​Brigade battalion fought with them during the night, and together – according to the Israeli forces – they eliminated about 50 terrorists. After the operation, the squad was in a convoy on its way to a building captured by the Israeli forces, where they planned to rest after the operation.

On the way to this building, there was a big explosion without any shots being fired in the area. IDF spokesman Brigadier General Daniel Hagari said the explosion was “probably caused by an explosive device placed in the area or by the launch of an anti-tank missile. There were eight soldiers in the armored vehicle who were killed.” He announced: “After this difficult incident, a team of experts from the Defense Ministry and the IDF will examine the armored vehicle and all the details of the incident until we reach conclusions.”

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Sergeant Itay Amar, 19, from Kochav Yair

(Photo: IDF Spokesperson Unit)

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Sergeant Eliyahu Moshe Zimbalist, 21, from Beit Shemesh

(Photo: IDF Spokesperson Unit)

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Sergeant Orr Blumovitz, 20, of Jaguars Hana

(Photo: IDF Spokesperson Unit)

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Sergeant Stanislav Kostarev, 21, from Ashdod

(Photo: IDF Spokesperson Unit)

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Sergeant Oz Yeshaia Gruber, 20, from Tal Menashe

(Photo: IDF Spokesperson Unit)

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Captain Wassem Mahmoud, 23, from Beit Jann

(Photo: IDF Spokesperson Unit)

The armored vehicle, the fifth in the convoy, caught fire after the explosion. It is possible that the explosion caused the detonation of explosives stored on the side of the vehicle, which increased the force of the explosion. Explosives stored in this way should not ignite in such an attack, nor cause injury to troops in the vehicle.

The massive fire that broke out as a result of the explosion completely destroyed the vehicle. According to one estimate, terrorists planted an explosive device directly on the floor of the Namer.

The vehicle burned for a long time and rescue workers were unable to reach it for about two hours. The Israeli military soon after launched drones to search for terrorists in the area, but none were located.

The Namer is an improved version of the Merkava armored personnel carrier. It was developed in Israel and entered service in 2016, replacing the Puma. It is based on a regular infantry fighting vehicle, but has some improvements and adjustments and can carry 10 soldiers. The Namer also has technical capabilities, such as the ability to breach minefields and tools for neutralizing explosive charges.