erusalem, July 22:
Two Israeli soldiers were killed in clashes with Gaza militants, the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) said in a statement released Tuesday.
The statement said that the two soldiers were killed Monday afternoon by sniper fire, adding that from Monday night to early Tuesday seven Israeli soldiers were injured, three seriously, Xinhua reported.
Overall, 27 soldiers and officers have been killed since Israel’s ground incursion into the Gaza Strip Thursday night while two Israeli civilians have been killed in rocket attacks through the week.
The IDF said in another statement that since the start of the ground operation, the IDF discovered 66 access shafts to 23 Gaza tunnels. In addition, since Operation Protective Edge started July 8, more than 2,925 targets were struck.
During the week, nearly 2,060 rockets were fired at Israel; 1,600 of them hit Israeli territory and 396 were intercepted by Iron Dome anti-missile battery. Meanwhile, 28 Palestinian militants were detained for questioning.
Over the past 24 hours, the IDF focused its efforts on attacking targets in Shuja’iya neighbourhood, from which the IDF claimed more than 140 rockets were fired.
According to Palestinian health officials, over 500 Palestinians have been killed in the Gaza Strip, at least 70 percent of them civilians, and more than 2,000 injured. According to the UN, about 100,000 Palestinians have been displaced.
American Secretary of State John Kerry is expected to arrive in Israel Tuesday after visiting Cairo in attempts to reach a ceasefire agreement. UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon is also in the region and is expected to be in Israel too.