IDF Casualties Mount In Deadly Weekend Of Fighting

The high price tag of Israel’s conflict with Hamas in the Gaza Strip has been recognized by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. There have been 153 casualties among IDF troops since the retaliatory attack started; 14 more have been killed since Friday. Israel Defense Forces casualties were highest on Saturday, the 23rd, but Netanyahu said his troops had “no alternative” but to continue fighting. He went on to say that the Israeli Defense Forces would continue their goal of eliminating Hamas with “full force to the finish,” even though they recognize that this might take a long time.

Since Israel started its retaliatory onslaught in the Gaza Strip, almost 20,000 people—primarily women and children—have perished, and another 50,000 have been wounded; 166 were killed in Gaza in the last day alone. Terrorists from Hamas massacred 1,200 Israelis and abducted 240 more on Black Saturday, prompting Israel to launch its attacks. Israeli friends in the West have asked the Israeli government to target fewer civilians, while the Israeli government is blaming Hamas for taking refuge in densely populated cities.

Just one day after the Biden administration once again covered Israel diplomatically, US President Joe Biden called with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Saturday, describing the session as lengthy and confidential. The United Nations Security Council passed a weak resolution that does not demand a ceasefire but does urge an acceleration of humanitarian relief supplies to the beleaguered Gazan people.

Because military fatalities are such a delicate and personal subject in Israel—a nation where the majority of Jews are required to serve in the military—the increasing body count might erode that support. In a tiny country of about 9 million people, almost every family knows someone who has lost a loved one in battle. The names of deceased troops are broadcast at the top of hourly newscasts.

Many Israelis are angry with Netanyahu’s administration, even if they support the war effort. Many blame him for not protecting civilians on October 7 and for supporting policies that gave Hamas power.