'13 Israeli soldiers have died today'

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At 17:33 Israel time, Magen David Adom (MDA) - the Israeli equivalent of the Red Cross or in Muslim countries the Red Crescent - put out the following announcement: “Magen David Adom informs with great sadness that 13 Israeli soldiers have died today. MDA teams took part in their evacuation. Baruch Dayan Ha’Emet.” MDA needs our help, read what you can do…
by ANT KATZ | Jul 20, 2014

Associated Press is also reporting Israeli military sources as saying that 13 soldiers have been killed in fighting with Hamas militants in Gaza. This brings the Israeli death toll to 18.

Gaza - Israel under fire logoThe military says the soldiers were killed during its ground offensive on Sunday.
Two civilians have been killed by mortar and rocket attacks on Israel.

Dozens of soldiers have been wounded.

At least 425 Palestinians have been killed in the near two-week conflict that shows no signs of stopping.

MDA needs our help more than ever

SAJR-Online is receiving live updates from Magen David Adom and, mindful of the huge contribution South African Jewry has played in the past – MDA says they need our help more than ever now.

Gaza - Israel under fire logoYonatan (Yonnie) Yagodovsky (pictured at left) is the director for international relations at MDA and has been keeping MDA-SA and SAJR Online up to date with events. Watch out for his compelling tale of how MDA is saving lives in Israel daily, how SA contributions are helping (as always) and about a day in the life of MDA staff and volunteers right now.

“Donations from SA are immediately connected to a patient currently receiving treatment in Israel – meaning that the donor becomes an active person who is now involved in treating patients and victims – no matter the size the size of the donation.” Says Yonnie.

Click-athon campaign helping save lives

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SAJR Online is running a CLICK-ATHON campaign in co-operation with MDA which users can see on every page on the website.

MDA, which is an NGO and runs all medical emergency services in Israel including first reposes and ambulance services, are saving countless lives daily – but at an additional cost to them before the boots went into Gaza, of almost R1 mil a day!

“SA provides 5,25 per cent of MDA Israel’s total income,” says Yonnie.

“I grew up and live in Jerusalem where the MDA station was built by our friends and donors from SA in 1968 and maintained by MDA-SA for many years. We continue to receive significant support from Jewish and Christian donors in SA – extremely meaningful support,” he told Jewish Report this week.

“SA has been one of the most senior MDA societies for the past 68 years - we have a long history together - you are one of our most successful communities!”

Gaza - tanks entering
RIGHT: Israeli tanks moving into northern Gaza

The IDF announced on Sunday evening that 13 Israeli soldiers from the Golani Brigade were killed since Saturday night in fighting with Hamas terrorists in the Gaza Strip.

This had brought the total number of military fatalities so far in the campaign against Hamas in Gaza to 18.

The fallen soldiers took part in exchanges of fire against terrorists in Gaza. Seven soldiers were killed when Gaza terrorists attacked their APC on Saturday.

SA Jews don't stand behind us, but beside us!

“It means a lot to us,“ said Yonnie. “Thank you for being with us in daily routine life and especially in times like this – your contributions are way beyond fiscal. We feel, no, we know that you are standing beside us – not behind us!”

Israel - dont LONGClick here for the MDA/SAJR CLICK-ATHON and give whatever you can – big or small – even if you are a regular donor, every extra bit helps, says MDA SA Chairman Mark Hyman.

The military was still completing the process of identifying the fallen soldiers. The families had been notified of the soldiers' deaths. Col. Rasan Alian, commander of the Golani Brigade, was moderately injured in an exchange of fire in Gaza. He has been hospitalised in Beersheva.

Dozens of wounded IDF soldiers were brought from the fighting in Gaza to a number of hospitals across Israel on Sunday morning. In total, 53 wounded Israeli soldiers have been hospitalised from the fighting in Gaza.

Fifteen soldiers were taken to the Rabin Medical Centre-Beilinson Campus in Petah Tikva. Four were in serious condition and 11 were in light to moderate condition.

Two lightly injured soldiers were brought to Hadassah University Medical Centre in Jerusalem's Ein Kerem.

Three soldiers in moderate condition were taken to Soroka Medical Centre in Beersheva and two others were to Soroka with light wounds. Another four wounded soldiers were taken to Sheba Medical Centre in Tel Hashomer.

Two of the evacuees were in serious condition, one was in serious to moderate condition and another was in moderate condition.

Large numbers of ground forces entered the Gaza Strip overnight between Saturday and Sunday as Israel expanded its operation against Hamas. The increased presence in Gaza is aimed at destroying Hamas infrastructure, the IDF said.

Even before the ground troops moved into Gaza, the conflict was costing Israel’s medical emergency services, MDA, almost R1 mil a day in additional operational costs – this is now much higher.

But SA Jewry has responded magnificently to the Jewish Report/MDA CLICK-ATHON which raised almost R10 000 on its first day says MDS-SA Chairman Mark Hyman today. 

Units have been training for this

The move comes after the government decided to escalate the operation, and after the units earmarked to be sent into Gaza had completed intensive training and preparations.

MDA - LogoEarlier on Saturday, two soldiers were killed in the Gaza Strip, the IDF announced.

Staff Sergeant Bania Roval, a 20-year-old soldier from Holon serving in the Paratroopers 101st Battalion, was shot dead by a terrorist in Gaza who emerged from a tunnel shaft and opened fire at soldiers.

The terrorist was shot dead in return fire.

The second soldier, 2nd-Lt Bar Rahav, 21, from Ramat Yishai, was from the Engineering Corps and was killed in an attack in Gaza.

Another two soldiers were killed on Shabbos by a rocket-propelled grenade while thwarting the attempt to murder Israeli civilians. They were Sg. Adar Barsano, 20, of Nahariya, and Maj Amotz Greenberg, 45, of Hod Hasharon, the army announced.

Searching for the tunnels

Military sources said Hamas gunmen have increased their attacks on soldiers who are searching and finding tunnel entrances in Palestinian homes near the border with Israel. Simultaneously, Hamas has ordered its members to use remaining tunnels for immediate cross-border attacks against Israeli civilians and military targets. Thirteen cross-border tunnels have been destroyed since Thursday night. The air force had struck some 500 targets since the start of the ground operation.

The IDF feels it has gained "significant control" of cross-border attack tunnels, and that this development is "upsetting Hamas", the source added. Hamas is doing its best to hamper the army's efforts, and attempts to send a donkey with explosives and a suicide bomber on a motorcycle on Friday are part of those attempts. Hamas is also trying to kidnap soldiers.

Additionally, two terrorists attempted to attack a D-9 armoured bulldozer used in uncovering tunnels by the Engineering Corps. In the attack, two terrorists emerged from a tunnel entrance. One, a suicide bomber, detonated his explosives, and the second fired an anti-tank missile. Both were killed in the incident.

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