One way to get bad news:
Three IDF soldiers were killed in fighting in Gaza on Monday as the battle has moved into close quarters in urban areas. The soldiers were from the elite Golani Brigade. Another 20 were wounded in the same incident.According to reports, a force from Golani's 13th Battalion came under heavy mortar fire in Saja'iya and entered a nearby home for cover. The home was booby-trapped and the ensuing explosion caused the casualties. Col. Avi Peled, commander of the brigade, and Lt.-Col. Oren Cohen, commander of the battalion, were wounded and evacuated.
The fighting lasted several hours as IDF artillery pounded the area and helicopters evacuated the wounded.
Despite the fierce fighting, and with diplomatic activity beginning to gain steam, defense officials predicted Monday that Operation Cast Lead would be over by the end of the week.
Forty weapons-smuggling tunnels in the Philadelphi Corridor were bombed on Monday and defense officials said that Hamas was too scared to use the tunnels to smuggle further weaponry. Overnight Sunday, the IAF attacked more than 30 Gaza targets, including an underground Hamas bunker, weapons caches and sites from which Grad rockets were fired at Ashkelon.
the Israeli military said three soldiers were killed and 24 others wounded Monday evening by friendly fire. It said an errant Israeli tank shell hit their position outside Gaza City, dismissing initial suspicions that a Hamas booby-trap caused the casualties. The military said a colonel who commanded an infantry brigade was among the injured.
Despite Israeli claims that casualties have been heavy among militants, no injured Hamas fighters were seen Monday by an Associated Press reporter at Shifa Hospital, the Gaza Strip's largest. Instead, the hospital was overwhelmed with civilians.