IDF, Israel-Gaza War

IDF releases names of 2 reservist soldiers killed in Gaza 

Omer Smadga and Saadia Yaakov Derai were killed in a Hamas attack in Gaza yesterday.

Friends and family attend the funeral of Israeli soldier Staff sergeant Tzur Avraham at the military cemetery in Modi'in June 16, 2024. (Photo by Jonathan Shaul/Flash90)

Two Israeli reservists lost their lives yesterday (Thursday) when Hamas launched a mortar attack in central Gaza. The IDF reported that three other soldiers were seriously injured in the same incident.

The fallen soldiers were identified as:

- Sgt. First Class (res.) Omer Smadga, 25, from Ganot Hadar

- Sgt. First Class (res.) Saadia Yaakov Derai, 27, from Tel Aviv

Both Smadga and Derai served in the 9203rd Battalion of the Alexandroni Brigade.

As reported by Times of Israel, Smadga's father, Oren, is a former Olympic athlete who secured a bronze medal in judo for Israel in 1992. Derai's father, Laly, is known for his work as a news commentator and his involvement with Hamaniot, a charity supporting Israeli orphans.

Hamas took credit for the attack, stating they targeted an Israeli military position near Gaza City.

This tragic event raises the number of Israeli troops killed during the Gaza offensive to 314, including one police officer who fell during a hostage rescue operation.

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