Thirteen Golani Brigade soldiers were killed in the Gaza Strip over the past 24 hours in several different incidents, the IDF cleared for publication on Sunday evening, bringing the number of killed soldiers in Operation Protective Edge to 18.
The army has begun to release the names of the fallen soldiers.
- Staff Sergeant Moshe Melako, 20, from Jerusalem. A combat soldier in the Golani Brigade. His funeral was to be held Monday at 4pm at the military cemetery on Mount Herzl.
- Maj. Tzafrir Bar-Or, 32, from Holon. A commanding officer in the Golani Brigade. His funeral was to be held on Monday at 1pm in the military section of Holon cemetery.
- Cpt. Tzvi Kaplan, 28, from Kdumim. A commanding officer in the Golani Brigade. His funeral was to be held on Monday at 11am in the military cemetery in Haifa. The family has asked the media not to cover the funeral.
- Sgt. Gilad Yaakovi, 21, from Kiryat Ono. Combat soldier in the Golani Brigade. His funeral was held on Monday at 10am in Kiryat Shaul cemetery in Tel Aviv. He was posthumously promoted to staff sergeant. The family has asked the media not to cover the funeral.
- Sgt. Oz Mandelovitz, 21, from Avtalion. A combat soldier in the Golani Brigade. His funeral was to be held on Monday at 6pm in the Misgav Regional Council cemetery. He was posthumously promoted to staff sergeant.
- Staff Sgt. Nissim Sean Karmeli, 21, from Ra'anana. A combat soldier in the Golani Brigade. Details of his funeral were yet to be released.
The families of the killed and wounded soldiers have already been notified, and the release of their names is pending family approval.
Seven soldiers from the 13th battalion of the Golani Brigade were killed at 1:05am Sunday in Gaza City when an anti-tank missile hit the armored personnnel carrier (APC) they were in. Others were killed setting up positions inside houses they had taken over, the sources added.
It was the IDF's highest one-day death toll since the 2006 Second Lebanon War against Hezbollah.
Several other soldiers have been wounded during military operations in the Strip and have been taken to Soroka Medical Center in Be'er Sheva, the Sheba Medical Center in Tel HaShomer and the Rabin Medical Center in Petah Tikva.
Making a statement to the press, IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz said that while the army suffered more losses in the past 24 hours than it did in previous days, "we understand that in battle, some are killed. But we know that this is our job and this is what we're doing."
"The battles in some of these areas are both complex and difficult and despite that we remain determined to reach our objectives," Gantz added.
The chief of staff praised the work of the IDF soldiers and said the army was continuing to expand and intensify its operations. "Terrorists are hit, infrastracture is hit and destroyed in every area we enter."
A total of 18 soldiers have been killed since the ground phase of Operation Protective Edge started on Thursday night.
Four soldiers were on Saturday. Second Lieutenant Bar Rahav, a 21-year-old Engineering Corps soldier from Ramat Yishai, was killed by an anti-tank missile that hit the engineering vehicle in which he was driving in the Strip.
Staff Sergeant Bnaya Rubel, a 20-year-old infantryman from Holon, was killed in a firefight, in which an IDF officer was also moderately wounded.
Major Amotz Greenberg, 45, and Sergeant Adar Barsano, 20, were killed in a firefight after Hamas terrorists infiltrated into Israel from a tunnel in the Gaza Strip.
On Thursday night, Nahal Brigade soldier Eitan Barak, 20, became the first IDF soldier to be killed in the operation.