Sixteen Israeli soldiers have been killed in fighting since Tuesday in and near the Gaza Strip, the military said, as troops engaged in fierce battles with militants from the Hamas group.
The Israeli military keeps a rolling toll on its website, providing the name, age and locations of soldiers killed in the ongoing war.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Wednesday that Israel’s war in Gaza would be long but victorious, in a statement in which he also mourned mounting military losses.
"We are in a tough war. It will be a long war,” he said.
Israeli troops have been fighting Hamas militants on the ground in Gaza since Friday, backed by heavy air strikes and artillery, which have killed a vast number of civilians in the Palestinian territory.
While 15 soldiers were killed inside Gaza in fighting with Hamas militants, one was killed outside the territory. The military did not offer details on how he was killed.
There have also been clashes with Hezbollah and other militants along Israel’s northern frontier with Lebanon, where another eight soldiers have been killed.
Israel has relentlessly pounded Gaza in retribution for the worst attack in the country’s history, when Hamas gunmen stormed across the border, killing 1,400 people, mostly civilians, on October 7 according to Israeli officials.
Despite the casualties and the damages the Israeli army has face, Netanyahu has promised Israeli citizens that “We will get the job done. We will press ahead until victory.”
AFP reporters saw more tanks pour over the border into northern Gaza, as Israel stepped up its ground incursion launched late last week. Its bombing campaign has killed 8,796 people, according to Hamas-run Gaza’s health ministry.
The situation in Gaza remained desperate, with food, fuel and medicine for the 2.4 million residents all running short, according to aid groups.
Israel has lost at least 331 soldiers since the October 7 attacks.