An ambush kills seven Israeli soldiers in Gaza City.
The military has continued to encounter stiff resistance in an offensive against Hamas that has sparked international outrage.

At least seven Israeli soldiers have been killed in an ambush in Gaza City, Israeli media reported on Wednesday.

An explosive device killed several of the soldiers, while the remaining soldiers were shot dead by Hamas fighters after being isolated from the rest of their troops, according to Israeli media. 

It is the worst loss of life in a single day for the Israel Defense Forces since they launched their operation in response to the Hamas offensive.

At least 115 Israeli soldiers have been killed since ground operations in Gaza began in late October. 

An ambush kills seven Israeli soldiers in Gaza City.

The military has continued to encounter stiff resistance in the offensive against Hamas that has drawn international outrage and little criticism from the United States for the killing of thousands of civilians.

President Joe Biden’s administration has repeatedly called on Israel to take more steps to protect Palestinian civilians, even as it has blocked international calls for a ceasefire and rushed military aid to its close ally.

Israel has rejected US suggestions for a post-war plan to revive the long-dormant peace process with the Palestinians.

On Tuesday, Biden stated that he had told Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that Israel was losing international support due to its “indiscriminate bombings.”

He added that Netanyahu should change his government, which far-right parties dominate. But the offensive is being led by a tight war cabinet that includes two politically centrist retired generals and has overwhelming support among Israelis.

The air and ground offensive has killed more than 18,400 Palestinians, mostly civilians, since the Oct. 7 attack by Hamas that sparked the war.

Nearly 85% of Gaza’s 2.3 million people have been forced to flee their homes, and much of northern Gaza resembles a moonscape.

Israeli ground troops continued to engage in heavy fighting with Palestinian fighters in and around Gaza City more than six weeks after soldiers invaded the north.

 

Clashes continued overnight from Tuesday to Wednesday in several areas, with fighting especially intense in Shijaiyah, according to residents.

“It’s frightening. We couldn’t sleep,” said Mustafa Abu Taha, a Palestinian farm worker who lives in the neighborhood. “The situation is worsening, and we have no safe place to go.”

The United States has urged Israel to do more to reduce civilian casualties since it launched its invasion of southern Gaza this month, but the death toll has continued to rise at a dizzying pace.

More than 18,400 Palestinians have been killed, according to Hamas-ruled Gaza’s Health Ministry, whose tallies from previous conflicts match Israeli and UN figures.

The Ministry does not distinguish between civilian and combatant deaths but says that approximately two-thirds of those killed are women and children.

Association Press