The Israel Defense Forces has released the names of six of the 13 Golani Brigade soldiers killed early Sunday: Major Zafrir Bar-Or,32, from Holon, Captain Zvika Kaplan, 28, from Meirav, Sergeant Oz Mendelovich,21, from Atzmon, Sergeant Nissim Sean Carmeli, 21, from Ra'anana, Sergeant Gilad Yaakobi, 21, from Kiryat Ono, and Moshe Malko, 20, of Jerusalem.
The 13 soldiers killed Sunday in different incidents across the Gaza Strip bring to a total 18 troop fatalities in less than two days.
The IDF spokesman released a statement confirming that the soldiers had fallen, and said that two of the soldiers were U.S. citizens.
"The IDF is currently completing the identification process; when the process is completed, and with the families' approval, the names of the fatalities will be released," the statement said.
In one incident in the Tufah neighborhood north of Shujaiyeh, Golani troops fell into an ambush in which an RPG was fired at their APC, killing seven and severly wounding two. Senior IDF officers criticized the use of the aging APC, built in the 1960s. In another incident, three soldiers were killed, including two officers in the battalion. Three more soldiers were killed in another gun battle nearby.
In another incident, an anti-tank rocket was fired at a building in Shujaiyeh where troops were staying, killing three and wounding many more.
Six Golani soldiers were wounded in another incident, when a grenade exploded near their positions. Army officials do not know whether the grenade was thrown by army troops and wounded the soldiers afterward, or thrown at the troops by armed Palestinians. In yet another incident, several soldiers suffered from smoke inhalation.
Five soldiers were killed on Saturday: First Sergeant Eitan Barak, 20, of Herzliya; Major Amotz Greenberg, 45 of Hod HaSharon; Sergeant Adar Bersano,20, of Nahariya; Second Lieutenant Bar Rahav, 21 of Ramat Yishai; and Sergeant Bnaya Rubel, 20 of Holon.
Army officials said that 130 Palestinians have been killed since the start of the ground incursion, 60 of them overnight Saturday-Sunday. Army sources say that more than 110 of those killed were involved in terrorist activity. Army officials say that another 800 Palestinians were wounded in fighting in the Gaza Strip since Thursday night. So far, army troops have found 36 shafts leading into tunnels, of which 14 tunnels were intact. The troops are currently operating to destroy these tunnels.
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