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SEARING TRAGEDY: Scene Of Gazan Building Collapse Was Reminiscent Of An Earthquake

The firing of RPG missiles by Hamas terrorists at two buildings laced with explosives where numerous soldiers were working caused the horrific tragedy in which 21 reserve soldiers lost their lives.

A multi-casualty incident was announced and the Home Front Command’s search and rescue teams were called in. When they arrived at the site, they found a scene reminiscent of the destruction at the epicenter of an earthquake, Ynet reported.

According to preliminary details, a combined force of infantry, engineering and armored reserve soldiers arrived at the site in the central Gaza Strip on Monday to clear an area for a buffer zone being established by the Gaza Division – in preparation for the “day after” the war and the return of Israelis to their homes in the Gaza border area.

The preparations include destroying structures that can serve as observation or firing posts on Israeli targets- hundreds of such buildings have already been destroyed. During the operation, the forces discovered a group of 10 two-story buildings, about 600 meters from the border fence.

At about 4 p.m., at least one terrorist approached the area, after apparently exiting a tunnel shaft which enabled him to reach the area without being seen. He fired an RPG missile at the tank that was securing the operation, killing two IDF soldiers in the tank and injuring two others. At the same time, another anti-tank missile was launched by the terror squad toward two adjacent houses where dozens of soldiers were working as part of the operation. According to a preliminary estimate, the explosion of the RPG missile in the building led to the explosion of many mines placed by the IDF forces to demolish the structure and the massive explosion caused the total collapse of the two-building complex.

A large number of Home Front Command forces were mobilized for the rescue operation. The commander of the Southern Brigade of the Gaza Division, Lt. Col. Tal Ashur, was already present at the scene and led the rescue operations. The commander of the Gaza Division, Brig. Gen. Avi Rosenfeld also arrived at the scene with engineering tools to aid the rescue operation.

Five soldiers were also injured in the explosion, one seriously

The IDF is expected to appoint a special investigative team to examine the circumstances of the incident.

(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)

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