Four IDF soldiers were killed, while at least six other people were wounded, some seriously and criticially, by mortar fire on Eshkol near the Gaza border early Monday evening. Because this was a mortar and not a rocket, there was no Code Red siren.
The four soldiers who were killed in the mortar hit in Eshkol are:
Staff Sgt. Eliav Eliyahu Haim Kahlon, 22-years-old from Safed.
Staff Sgt. Eliav Eliyahu Haim Kahlon
Staff Sgt. Adi Briga, 23-years-old from Beit Shikma.
Staff Sgt. Adi Briga
Corporal Maeidan Maymon Biton, 20-years-old from Netivot.
Corporal Maeidan Maymon Biton
Corporal Niran Cohen, 20-years-old from Tiberius.
Corporal Niran Cohen
A fifth soldier, Sgt. Moshe Davino, 20-years-old from Jerusalem, was killed in the afternoon hours in Gaza. He was posthumously promoted to Staff Sergeant.
Sgt. Moshe Davino, 20-years-old from Jerusalem (Photo courtesy of the family)
Davino, an Engineering Corps combat soldier, was killed when an RPG hit a D-9 bulldozer he was in. Another soldier was wounded in the attack.
Ten terrorists took part in the coordinated attack on the engineering troops: eight of them were killed in fire exchange with Givati troops and two others surrendered and taken for questioning.
The families of the fallen troops have been informed.
The wounded were taken to Soroka Medical Center in Be'er Sheba and to the Sheba Medical Center in Tel HaShomer.
|Wounded arrive at Soroka Medical Center|
Shortly afterwards, three rockets hit open areas in Eshkol, and later the Iron Dome intercepted three rockets over Ashdod.
Wounded airlifted to hospital (Photo: Ido Erez)
Meanwhile, the rocket alert siren was sounded in Zikhron Ya'akov, Binyamina, Hadera, Caesarea, other cities in northern Israel at around 7:11pm. Two rockets were fired at the Carmel area, one of them falling in an open area near Zikhron Ya'akov and another has yet to be found.
At 12:40 pm on Monday the unofficial ceasefire between Israel and Hamas was broken when Code Red sirens blared in the Hof Ashkelon Regional Council as four rockets were fired from Gaza. It was reported that the rockets fell within the Gaza Strip.
Several minutes before 5pm, the Code Red rocket siren was sounded in Ashkelon and in Hof Ashkelon Regional Council. The rocket launched was intercepted by the Iron Dome. Some 15 minutes later, Code Red was once again sounded in Ashkelon, and the Iron Dome intercepted 2 more rockets, while a third hit an open area.
The political establishment, led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon, has attempted to reach a ceasefire with Hamas. A political source said that "the ceasefire will continue according to the situation on the ground."
|IDF special forces operating in Gaza (Video: IDF Spokesperson's Unit)|
Up until the noon salvo, only one rocket was fired by Gaza militants. The IDF retaliated with a precise strike. Meanwhile, a soldier was wounded in light-to-moderate condition during clashes in Beit Hanoun. He was evacuated to Sheba Medical Center in Tel HaShomer.
During the ceasefire, and before the air raid sirens sounded in southern Israel, the IDF Spokesperson's Unit released a video documenting the operations of special forces in the Strip.
Shortly after 7am, a single rocket was fired on Asheklon and exploded in an open area. The IDF later attacked two concealed rocket launchers and a weapons manufacturing site in the north and central Gaza Strip – in retaliation for the rocket fire. The IDF had no casualties overnight.
Yoav Zitun contributed to this report.