11 Israeli soldiers hospitalized for wasp stings after their tank ran over a swarm's nest in Gaza, report says

  • A swarm of wasps in the southern Gaza Strip injured twelve IDF soldiers.

  • The incident occurred during an ongoing operation by the Gaza Division's Southern Brigade.

  • A hospital treated the wounded soldiers, with one requiring intensive care, a report said.

Twelve Israeli soldiers were injured after being attacked by a swarm of wasps in the southern Gaza Strip, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said.

The military said the incident unfolded on Friday when a tank inadvertently disturbed a nest, prompting the insects to retaliate, per The Times of Israel.

Sheba Medical Center in Tel Hashomer admitted the wounded soldiers for treatment, with one requiring intensive care, said the report. The hospital said that none of the soldiers' conditions had worsened and that none of their lives were in jeopardy, said The Times of Israel.

The IDF told Business Insider in a statement, "As part of the IDF's activity in the southern Gaza Strip, the IDF forces stepped on a wasp's nest. As a result, 11 soldiers were stung and were evacuated in a minor condition to receive medical treatment in a hospital. Another IDF soldier was evacuated in a moderate condition. Their families have been informed."

While this incident did not prove fatal, attacks by warm swarms can be deadly. A grandfather in Kentucky died after being attacked by a swarm of insects, likely yellow jackets, last year.

The bizarre wasp attack is the latest in a series of accidents and errors that have dogged the IDF's Gaza campaign.

The incident in Gaza transpired amid an ongoing operation led by the Gaza Division's Southern Brigade in the border region opposite the Israeli community of Nirim.

According to the Sheba Medical Center, some of the troops suffered from allergic reactions from being stung by hundreds of wasps — a situation medical professionals had not previously encountered on such a scale, The Times of Israel said.

The Israeli hospital responded by mobilizing intensive care, anesthesia, toxicology, and ophthalmology to ensure the proper treatment of the affected soldiers.

On October 7, a Hamas-led attack on Israel resulted in 1,143 killed, including 767 civilians and hundreds of soldiers.

Since then, Israel's retaliatory war operations have killed nearly 35,000 Palestinians in Gaza.

But the Israeli military has also fallen victim to themselves.

In the wasp incident, the swarm was provoked by a tank rolling over its nest. Other IDF blunders have also led to Israeli casualties and equipment losses.

Instances of friendly fire have killed Israeli hostages and soldiers, including Efrat Katz, who was being captured from her kibbutz on October 7 when an IDF helicopter machine-gunned her kidnappers' car.

A report in Haaretz earlier this week said that 22 IDF soldiers have been killed and 54 have been injured by friendly fire in the conflict so far.

Last week, a US Marine officer said 40% of drones the IDF has shot down were their own.

This story has been update with a statement from the IDF.

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