JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Gaza militants who crossed into Israel via a tunnel killed five Israeli soldiers in a gun battle near the community of Nahal Oz close to the border with the Gaza Strip, the military said on Tuesday.
"(The) soldiers were killed during combat when terrorists attempted to execute an attack using a tunnel shaft, which led from the Gaza Strip to Nahal Oz. The soldiers thwarted the attempt by identifying the squad and neutralizing one of the terrorists," the military said in a statement.
The incident on Monday raised to 10 the number of military fatalities for the day.
Fifty-three Israeli soldiers have been killed since Israel launched its offensive on Gaza on July 8 In which almost 1,100 Gazans, mostly civilians, have died in the conflict.
Israel launched its Gaza offensive on July 8, saying its aim was to halt rocket attacks by Hamas and its allies. It later ordered a land invasion to find and destroy the warren of Hamas tunnels that crisscrosses the border area.
(Writing by Ori Lewis; Editing by Ron Popeski)