Israeli fatalities in the Gaza war
January 26, 2024 - On Monday, 24 Israeli troops died fighting in Gaza, marking the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) deadliest day since the ground war’s start on October 27.
All 24 victims were reservists, members of some 360,000 citizen soldiers who have put their everyday lives on hold to serve in Israel’s war in Gaza. The IDF relies on compulsory military service to fill the ranks of its 170,000-strong standing army.
Following the cross-border rampage by Hamas on October 7, Israel called up hundreds of thousands of reservists, and thousands of other Israeli civilians volunteered to fight.
“These are not faceless soldiers,” Michael Oren, former Israeli ambassador to the United States, told The Dispatch.
They’re also “the backbone of our economy,” pointing out that reservists are older than regular soldiers and have well-developed careers. Their absence from Israel’s workforce is a significant loss, Oren added.