IDF Deaths Hit 300 as 4 Killed in Booby-trapped Building; Biden’s Rules of Engagement Discourage Bombing

IDF in Gaza (IDF)

The number of Israeli military deaths reached 300 on Tuesday after four soldiers were killed in Rafah by an explosion in a booby-trapped building that collapsed on them.

Israel is often forced to send soldiers into Hamas-infested buildings because the Biden administration has explicitly opposed Israel’s preferred tactic of bombing them.

Last month, the U.S. withheld a shipment of large precision-guided munitions from Israel to reinforce its opposition to their use.

The Times of Israel reported:

Four soldiers were killed and another seven were wounded in the Gaza Strip when a booby-trapped building collapsed on them, Israel said Tuesday as troops continued to battle Hamas in the south and center of the Palestinian enclave.

Their deaths brought the number of troops killed during Israel’s ground offensive against Hamas in Gaza and amid operations along the border to 300. The toll includes a police officer killed on Saturday during an operation to rescue four hostages.

The IDF said that it later found a tunnel shaft inside the home, indicating that the building likely belonged to a Hamas operative.

The soldiers were named as Pshebilski Shaulov, 24; Eitan Karlsbrun, 20; Almog Shalom, 19; and Yair Levin, 19.

The Biden administration opposed an Israeli operation in Rafah, which Israel deemed necessary to defeat the last remaining Hamas battalions.

As it became clear that Israel intended to enter Rafah, the Biden administration said it remained opposed to any “major” operation in the city. President Biden said explicitly that he would withhold heavy bombs and artillery: “I’m not supplying the weapons that have been used historically to deal with Rafah, to deal with the cities, to deal with that problem,” he told CNN.

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) adjusted its tactics to smaller attacks that require troops to take greater direct risks; the Biden administration says it is satisfied with the change.

Nevertheless, as Breitbart News reported in May, citing an Israeli military source, Israel feared that Biden’s rules of engagement would cause more soldiers to die in booby-trapped buildings: “Everything is rigged to blow [in Rafah].”

In addition to the 300 Israeli soldiers who have fallen in Gaza, more than 350 fell in battle on October 7 itself.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the recent e-book, “The Zionist Conspiracy (and how to join it),” now available on Audible. He is also the author of the e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.


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