Nine Israeli soldiers lost their lives in a single attack in northern Gaza on Tuesday. This event has sent shockwaves throughout Israel, still reeling from the grief of the October 7 terror attack by Hamas. Despite this tragic loss, security analysts believe that the incident is unlikely to diminish the Israeli public's support for the ongoing war, citing the high stakes involved.
Since the start of the invasion, the official count states that 116 Israel Defense Forces (IDF) soldiers have been killed in combat in Gaza. This figure, however, is overshadowed by the reported Palestinian casualties. According to the Hamas-run Ministry of Health in Gaza, the death toll stands at 18,412 as of Tuesday.
The IDF has acknowledged striking over 22,000 targets in Gaza since the war began.
The Israeli Perspective and International Diplomacy
Retired IDF Colonel Miri Eisin, a security expert whose husband and three children are currently serving in the IDF, expressed a sentiment prevalent among many Israelis.
"Right now, for the Israeli public, the threat from Hamas’ military capabilities is such that we’re willing to go to a relatively high number of casualties to destroy it," Eisin told CNN.Her words reflect the complex and painful choices faced by many in Israel, caught between the desire for safety and the heavy cost of conflict.
In the international arena, US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan has been actively involved in discussions regarding the conflict. He met with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in Saudi Arabia on Wednesday, where the war with Hamas was a key topic.
Sullivan is also expected to hold "extremely serious conversations" with Israeli officials about humanitarian aid and the next phase of Israel's military campaign. This diplomatic engagement comes as the White House attempts to reconcile President Joe Biden's comments about "indiscriminate bombing" in Gaza with its assertion that Israel's intent is to limit civilian casualties.
Complicating these discussions is a US intelligence assessment indicating that nearly half of the air-to-ground munitions used by Israel in Gaza have been unguided.