On May 12, the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) sustained their first causality since the outbreak of the clashes with Palestinian factions in the Gaza Strip.

An Israeli soldier was killed and two others were severely injured when their SUV was hit by an anti-tank guided missile, reportedly a Russian-made Kornet-E, while it was passing on a road to the north of Gaza.

In a statement, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of the Hamas Movement, claimed responsibility for the missile strike. According to the group’s statement, 21 mortar rounds were fired at the vicinity of the targeted vehicle after the strike.

Israeli media reported that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had ordered the IDF to expand its operations in Gaza in response to the missile strike. Later, the IDF announced that it had neutralized two anti-tank units of Hamas.

The clashes in Gaza breakout on May 10 when Palestinian factions launched a large operation, codenamed “Sword of Jerusalem,” in response to attempts by Israeli authorities to forcible evict several Arabian families from Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood in Jerusalem.

According to the IDF, Gaza factions have launched over 1,050 projectiles at Israel, so far. At least five Israeli citizens were killed and more than 90 others were wounded.

On the other side, the Israeli strikes on Gaza claimed the lives of 48 people, including 14 children and 4 women. More than 300 others sustained injures.

The battle in Gaza will not likely end any time soon. In spite of ongoing de-escalation efforts by Egypt, Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz said that “there is no end date” to the IDF operation in the Palestinian region.