(Middle East Monitor ) – At least 600 Israelis have been killed in the ongoing military escalation with Palestinian groups in Gaza, according to local media on Sunday.
Over 2,000 Israelis have been injured so far, Hebrew Channel 12 reported.
The Israel Defence Forces on Sunday published the names of 26 soldiers killed during fighting with the Palestinian side on the border with the Gaza Strip over the past day, saying: “Their families have been notified.”
The dead include Col. Jonathan Steinberg, 42, the commander of the Nahal Brigade from Shomria, Lt. Col. Sahar Machluf, 36, the commander of the 481st Signal Battalion from Modiin, and Maj. Chen Buchris, 26, the deputy commander of Maglan from Ashdod, the Times of Israel newspaper reported.
Later on Sunday, the Israeli army published the names of 18 other soldiers killed on Saturday, taking the death toll of soldiers to 44.
About 100 Israelis were also kidnapped to Gaza following the Saturday attacks by Hamas, according to daily Yedioth Ahronoth.
Hamas launched Operation Al-Aqsa Flood on Saturday and said the surprise attack was in response to the storming of the Al-Aqsa Mosque and increased settler violence. It said it fired rockets and captured many Israelis.
In turn, the Israeli army initiated Operation Swords of Iron against Hamas in the Gaza Strip.