OAN’s Elizabeth Volberding
5:15 PM – Tuesday, October 31, 2023
Two Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) soldiers, Roei Wolf and Lavi Lipshitz, were reportedly murdered in battle at the northern Gaza Strip, marking the first such casualties in Gaza since Israel began conducting its ground operations there.
On Tuesday, the IDF declared that two of its soldiers were killed during the battle. At least two additional Israeli soldiers were injured as well.
Maariv, an Israeli newspaper, reported that the two soldiers were killed by a rocket-propelled grenade (RPG).
Wolf, from Ramat Gan, and Lipshitz, from Modiin, were both 20-years-old.
The deaths were announced days after the start of Israel’s ground invasion operation into the Gaza Strip. The nation had previously heavily relied on airstrikes and artillery to retaliate against the Hamas-initiated attack on Israel on October 7th.
Therefore, the IDF started expanded ground operations this week, but the soldiers have been faced with the dangerous responsibility of diminishing Hamas tunnels and additional well-constructed defensive positions.
Israeli officials have committed to demolishing Hamas in Gaza completely.
On Monday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu denied requests for a cease-fire during a speech.
“Calls for a cease-fire are calls for Israel to surrender to Hamas, to surrender to terrorism, to surrender to barbarism. That will not happen,” Netanyahu said. “Ladies and gentlemen, the Bible says that there is a time for peace and a time for war. This is a time for war – a war for our common future. Today, we draw a line between the forces of civilization and the forces of barbarism. It is time for everyone to decide where they stand. Israel will stand against the forces of barbarism until victory. I hope and pray that civilized nations everywhere will back this fight.”
This week, the IDF also began the second stage of their war tactics against Hamas, immensely expanding ground procedures within the Gaza Strip. Military officials have alerted people that the war will be “long and difficult.”
Additionally, Netanyahu stated that the “horrors that Hamas perpetrated on October 7th remind us that we will not realize the promise of a better future unless we, the civilized world, are willing to fight the barbarians.”
“Because the barbarians are willing to fight us. And their goal is clear — shatter that promising future, destroy all that we cherish and usher in a world of fear and darkness,” he continued.
Since the Israel-Hamas conflict began on October 7th, over 300 soldiers have been killed.
IDF spokesperson Daniel Hagari made a statement on Tuesday regarding the ground operation on the Gaza Strip.
“Our soldiers at this time are fighting on the battlefield with courage and valor,” Hagari said. “This fighting is dangerous and you have to understand that there are costs. We all need resilience and courage.”
Currently, at least 1,400 Israeli citizens and soldiers have been killed, along with 32 Americans since the war began on October 7th.
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