Israeli soldier dies of wounds, bringing Israel’s Gaza war dead to 71

Marcy Oster

JERUSALEM (JTA) — An Israeli soldier critically injured in Gaza more than five weeks ago has died, bringing to 72 the total number of people killed on Israel’s side during the Gaza operation.

Sgt. Shachar Shalev, 20, of Alonei HaBashan in northern Israel, died Sunday at Rambam Hospital in  Haifa, the Israel Defense Forces announced. Both of legs had been amputated during his more than five weeks in the hospital.

Shalev was injured in an explosion as he and his unit searched for terror tunnels. Three other soldiers were killed in the July 23 attack. His funeral was scheduled for  Sunday evening.

Sixty-five of those killed in the recent Gaza conflict were soldiers; one was a foreign worker.