High-ranking commander among those killed in clashes with Hamas on Gaza border: IDF

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A high-ranking Israel Defense Forces commander was killed in action on Saturday, the Israeli military said after an unprecedented surprise attack by Hamas.

Col. Jonathan Steinberg, the commander of the Nahal Infantry Brigade, was killed during a confrontation with Hamas in the Kerem Shalom area near the border with the Gaza Strip, the IDF said on X (formerly Twitter).

The IDF said Steinberg was en route to the site of clashes being managed by his subordinates when he encountered a “terrorist” who killed him.

“He was the most senior official confirmed dead in the fighting as of Saturday night, and one of the most senior officers to have been killed in combat in recent memory,” the Times of Israel reported.

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Hamas launched an unexpected and unprecedented surprise attack on Israel on Saturday. Supported by a barrage of rockets, Hamas militants breached the blockade from Gaza Strip into adjacent Israeli towns. This sudden incursion resulted in numerous casualties and abductions – more than 200 dead and over a 1,000 injured, according to the IDF.

The IDF said Hamas launched more than 3,000 rockets toward Israel, and the group’s militants abducted Israeli civilians and soldiers and have taken them hostage into Gaza.

In response, Israel, taken aback by the assault, initiated airstrikes within Gaza. The Israeli prime minister declared a state of war with Hamas, pledging to impose an unparalleled cost on the militant group for their actions.

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