The Jewish Chronicle - - NEWS - BY ANSHEL PFEFFER

THE EASTERN sub­urb of Gaza City, Shu­jaiyeh, has be­come a sym­bol of the con­flict for both the Is­raeli and Pales­tinian sides fol­low­ing heavy ca­su­al­ties in fight­ing there this week. Pales­tinian sources claim that at least 60 peo­ple were killed, though some ver­sions say it was the toll was as high as 100.

The IDF claims that Shu­jaiyeh was a hubof Ha­ma­sop­er­a­tions,th­e­lo­ca­tionof many­rock­et­launch­er­sandof en­trances to tun­nels lead­ing into Is­rael.

Res­i­dents were warned in ad­vance to evac­u­ate be­fore the IDF en­tered and the Golani Bri­gade was held back from the ini­tial stage of the ground op­er­a­tion that be­gan on Thurs­day night and sent into Shu­jaiyeh 48 hours later..

The bri­gade in the first three days of its op­er­a­tions in the area lost 15 sol­diers, in­clud­ing a deputy bat­tal­ion com­man­der who was killed when an anti-tank mis­sile hit the build­ing be­ing used as a tem­po­rary head­quar­ters.

Other of­fi­cers were in­jured in the in­ci­dent, in­clud­ing bri­gade com­man­der Colonel Ghas­san Alian who was evac­u­ated to Soroka Hos­pi­tal in Beer­sheva after sus­tain­ing shrap­nel wounds to his face on Sun­day morn­ing. By Tues­day, he was back in ac­tion with his troops.

Seven sol­diers were killed when their ar­moured per­son­nel car­rier (APC) was hit and de­stroyed by an anti-tank mis­sile. One of the sol­diers in the APC, Oron Shaul, is still of­fi­cially de­scribed as “miss­ing” due to dif­fi­cul­ties in re­cov­er­ing and iden­ti­fy­ing his re­mains. Ha­mas claimed that they were hold­ing him cap­tive.

While there were wide dis­crep­an­cies be­tween the num­ber of ca­su­al­ties claimed by the Pales­tini­ans, IDF sources said that the ma­jor­ity of those killed in Shu­jaiyeh were Ha­mas fight­ers. “I’ve been to Shu­jaiyeh be­fore” said a veteran IDF of­fi­cer, “but I’ve never seen them like this. Ha­mas were fight­ing like Hizbol­lah, not run­ning away, and they had anti-tank mis­siles.”

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