All-female IDF combat squad claims to have killed ‘100 Hamas terrorists’
'There are no more doubts about female combat soldiers.'
With 1,400 Israelis and nearly 5,700 Palestinians killed, according to officials, the Israel-Hamas war erupted after the militant group launched its October 7 attack.
Israeli Caracal Battalion commander Lt-Col Or Ben-Yehuda praised her squad for their fighting in the southern Gaza strip in the early days of the war.
The Jerusalem Post reported that the colonel received reports of an infiltration of gunmen at a military base near Sufa, a kibbutz in southern Israel, on the day of Hamas’ incursion.
A colleague warned Ben Yehuda only minutes before being killed: ‘There are several terrorists here. They’re heavily armed.’
Ben Yehuda told her troops as they headed to the Egyprian border: ‘We are going out to eliminate terrorists. Infiltration into Israel is happening, and it’s spreading.
‘Stay alert. We might cross paths. We are a strong squad.’
At the base, Ben Yehuda claimed Hamas had seized control and taken more than 50 Israeli soldiers hostage.
After a 14-hour-long battle – which included 50 militants speeding towards Ben Yehuda’s 12-person Caracal Battalion unit – the IDF secured the base.
Only a few of Ben-Yehuda’s soldiers were wounded, she said.
‘There are no more doubts about female combat soldiers, who have triumphed in every encounter with terrorists,’ she added.
‘At present, we are responsible for 11 towns and are preparing for any potential ground manoeuvres to ensure the safety of the southern Gaza border area and the Egyptian border.’
According to a blog post on the Sufa battle on the Israel Defense And Security Forum, Or Ben-Yehuda was the first female cadet in the Gefen Battalion.
Sufa was among seven communities briefly under Hamas control, with 250 people taken hostage over the three-day battle, Israeli media claimed.
Hamas has killed at least 1,400 Israelis since the start of the war, the vast majority being fatalities in the October 7 attack.
At least 212 Israeli and foreign nationals are being held captive in Gaza, the Israeli authorities have said.
Gazan health officials say Israeli forces and airstrikes have killed at least 5,691 people, including 2,360 children, 1,292 women and 295 elderly people, as well as wound 16,297 civilians.
The ministry, which Hamas controls, said it recorded the highest single-day death toll of the war on Tuesday: at least 704 people were killed.
The number of killed is expected to increase, Gazan officials added last night, with reports of 1,550 buried under the rubble of buildings blasted by Israeli airstrikes.
In Gaza, a coastal enclave less than a quarter of the size of London, a deepening crisis described by aid groups as a ‘humanitarian catastrophe’ is unfolding.
Gazan health officials said today that 7,000 patients face the risk of death in hospitals amid dwindling fuel and drug supplies.
A spokesperson for the ministry added yesterday evening that the territory’s health services can’t even offer the ‘simplest medical services’ to the wounded.
The head of UNRWA, a UN agency that supports Palestinian refugees, said that without fuel, ‘there will be no water, no functioning hospitals and bakeries’ and that ‘no fuel will further strangle the children, women and people of Gaza’.
The UN secretary general, António Guterre, called for a humanitarian cease-fire yesterday in an address to the organisation’s Security Council.
The ‘appalling’ attack by Hamas, he said, did not happen in a ‘vacuum’ and Palestinians have suffered under 56 years of ‘suffocating occupation’.
‘The grievances of the Palestinian people cannot justify the appalling attacks by Hamas,’ he said.
‘And those appalling attacks cannot justify the collective punishment of the Palestinian people.’
Israel has rejected calls for a cease-fire, vowing to ‘destroy Hamas’.
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