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Elite Israeli units suffered heavy casualties at the start of the Hamas attack

At the beginning of the conflict elite Israeli units suffered heavy casualties and spent five hours defeating a group of Hamas terrorists who killed more than 100 residents of a kibbutz.

The commander of the Israel Air Force’s elite Shaldag Unit told reporters that about 10-12 fighters arrived by helicopter at Kibbutz Be’eri around 8:30 a.m. Saturday and were met with a barrage of fire. “I saw the disaster with my own eyes,” the commander said, according to the Jerusalem Post.

The commandos were killed in a massive intelligence failure that allowed Hamas to fire thousands of rockets and send hundreds of fighters into Israel.

According to the Israel Defence Forces, other elite special forces units have also died in the fight to push Hamas out of southern Israel.

Israel’s most prominent special forces unit, Sayeret Matkal, reported the deaths of 11 fighters. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is a former commander of the unit and his brother was killed in the Entebbe raid, a hostage rescue operation in 1976.

Five members of the “Ghost unit” from Rafaim, including the unit commander, also died.

According to the Jerusalem Post, by 2 a.m. Sunday, at least 200 special operations forces fighters were involved in the fight against Hamas.

The IDF said some 1,500 bodies of Hamas militants were found in southern Israel after the fighting in the Gaza Strip ended. The dead had been placed in white body bags with the word “terrorist” written on them in red paint, according to images from the battlefields.

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