Israel confirms soldier killed during ground raid in Gaza

The Israeli military has confirmed one of its soldiers was killed by an anti-tank missile reportedly shot by the Palestinian armed group Hamas during a raid into the Gaza Strip by the army.

Three other soldiers were injured in the raid on Sunday, said the statement that came as the Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of Hamas, announced on its Telegram account that it had pushed Israeli forces back into Israel.

One Israeli soldier was killed, while “one was moderately injured, and two were lightly injured as a result of an anti-tank missile”, the Israeli military announced.

The military added the purpose of the raid was to locate Hamas captives in Gaza’s Khan Younis area and to “thwart terrorist infrastructure”.

Israeli troops have been conducting raids across the border that they say are meant to clear the area and gather intelligence about captives being held by Hamas.

According to Al Jazeera’s Tareq Abu Azzoum, reporting from Khan Younis in Gaza, the raids are forcing Hamas to prepare for a long-speculated ground invasion by Israel.

“These kinds of Israeli attempts to enter the Gaza Strip [are being] confronted by the Palestinian fighters, who are trying to get ready enough in order to confront any possible, potential ground invasion inside the besieged territory,” Azzoum said.

He added that the situation on the ground is “really dramatic” and that the security conditions inside the Gaza Strip are “unpredictable”.

Al Jazeera’s Mohammed Jamjoom, reporting from occupied East Jerusalem, stated the killing of the soldier is something the Israeli army will be “taking very seriously” as the war continues.

The latest escalation between Hamas and Israel began early on Saturday, when the Palestinian fighters launched a surprise attack on multiple locations along the Gaza border in response to Israel’s repeated aggression against Palestinians and desecration of the al-Aqsa Mosque.

Israeli officials estimate that more than 1,400 people have been killed in the Hamas assault and over 5,000 have been wounded.

Israeli massive air strikes on the densely-populated Gaza Strip, has so far killed almost 4,700 people.

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