GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- The Hamas-affiliated al-Qassam Brigades late Monday released details of an operation against Israeli forces involving infiltration via tunnel earlier in the day, in a surprise strike that killed a number of Israeli soldiers.
"If they haven't had enough of our strikes yet, our fighters still have so much to surprise their leaders with," the group said in a statement. "It is our promise to our people that their blood will not be wasted," they added, referring to the deaths of more than 1,000 Palestinians in a massive Israeli assault over the last three weeks.
The Brigades said that nine al-Qassam fighters had been involved in the attack, which targeted an Israeli military tower in Nahal Oz, near the border with the Gaza Strip in southern Israel.
The group said that they had managed to infiltrate "behind enemy lines" around 6:45 p.m. of Monday, and killed 10 Israeli soldiers in the operation.
The group added that they attempted to capture a soldier but they were not able to.
The fighters also said they seized an Israeli "Tavor" assault rifle, labeled as number 438522900X95.
On Tuesday, the Israeli military said that five soldiers had been killed in the strike.
They also claimed the one al-Qassam fighter had died.
Palestinian militants have killed 53 Israeli soldiers since the ground assault on Gaza, in intense clashes inside the Strip as well as attacks on military targets inside Israel.
The fighting has been the deadliest for Israeli troops since the 2006 Lebanon war, when Hezbollah forces killed 121 Israeli soldiers as they attempted to invade southern Lebanon.
That war ended in an Israeli retreat from Lebanese territory.