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Two soldiers killed, three wounded from mortar fire in southern Gaza Strip


The IDF announced on Friday the names of two soldiers who were killed in battle in the Gaza Strip from mortar fire.

Sgt.-Maj. (res.) Omer Smadga, 25, from Ganot Hadar, from the 9203 Battalion in the Alexandroni Brigade, fell in combat in the central Gaza Strip.

Sgt.-Maj. (res.) Saadia Yaakov Dery, 27, from Tel Aviv, from the 9203 Battalion in the Alexandroni Brigade, fell in combat in the central Gaza Strip.

The military noted that three soldiers had been severely wounded in the same incident. They were transferred to the hospital for further medical treatment. 

According to Israeli Media, Omer was the son of Oren Smadga, a former judoka, Olympic medalist, and coach of Israel’s judo team for the Olympic Games. 

The 162nd Division of the IDF’s Armored Brigade operating in Rafah, June 2024 (credit: IDF SPOKESPERSON’S UNIT)

Saadia Yaakov Dery is survived by his wife, Rachel, and two children, aged two and one. He was studying for rabbinical exams before he was drafted on October 7 for reserves.

What happened?

An Alexandroni Brigade unit, which was moving on foot Thursday afternoon along the Netzarim corridor, was ambushed by Hamas terrorists at a relatively short distance. The ambush fired five mortar shells at the soldiers.

The incident occurred minutes before 4:00 p.m. on Thursday. The evacuation of the injured was complicated, with IDF soldiers firing heavily towards the area where the terrorists launched the mortars. IDF medical teams provided quick initial treatment and evacuated the injured soldiers using 669 helicopters to hospitals in central Israel.





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