In a tragic development, three soldiers, including a senior officer, lost their lives in heavy fighting in southern Gaza, raising the death toll from the ground offensive against Hamas to 232. The IDF officially announced the deaths of Lieutenant Colonel (res.) Netanel Yaacov Elkouby, Major (res.) Yair Cohen and Sgt. First Class (res.) Ziv Chen, revealing their names. In addition to these deaths, two other soldiers from the 630th Battalion were seriously wounded in the same intense battle, the Israeli military reported. The number of troops killed highlights the challenges the IDF faces in its current ground offensive against Hamas. Meanwhile, Palestinian authorities have confirmed at least 25,295 casualties in Gaza since the deadly war began on October 7.