BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- The Israeli military on Friday said in a statement that five Israeli soldiers had been killed by mortar fire Thursday evening.
The statement comes after Israeli media reported six had been injured in mortar fire on Eshkol on Thursday.
19 soldiers have been injured in the last 24 hours alone, the military added.
The deaths bring the military death toll for Israel to 61, in what has been the deadliest conflict for the army since the 2006 invasion of Lebanon.
64 Israelis have been killed by Palestinian militants since the assault began, more than 95 percent of which have been combatants.
Israeli forces, meanwhile, have killed more than 1,400 Palestinians, the vast majority of which have been civilians according to Gaza-based watchdogs.