With Hamas claiming that they have “captured” an Israeli soldier, Israeli army officials have revealed that they can account for only six of the seven soldiers who were reportedly killed when an armored personnel carrier was hit during a street battle in the Shuja’iyya neighborhood of Gaza.
However, a representative of the family of Oren Shaul said until they had absolute proof they are not counting him as a casualty.
“As far as we are concerned, as long as the examinations are not completed, as long as the IDF is still working and there are no conclusive findings on the issue – as far as the family is concerned Oren is not dead,” Rachel Gazit said. “It’s important for us to say that.”
Shaul was with Israeli troops inside Gaza, who are operating there to destroy Hamas rockets that have been raining down on Israel, as well as detect and destroy dozens of deadly attack tunnels Hamas has dug under the border. Several IDF soldiers were killed July 21 when a Hamas terror squad emerged from a tunnel and opened fire. The IDF returned fire and killed ten of the attackers.
Hamas has invested millions of dollars in the tunnels in a bid to kidnap soldiers, and has said repeatedly that one of its goals is to kidnap Israeli soldiers like its 2006 attack in which Gilad Shalit was captured. In that attack, Hamas used a tunnel dug under the border to kill two Israeli soldiers and kidnap Shalit in order to exchange him for convicted terrorists serving sentences in Israel jails.
[Photo: Ezzedeen Al Qassam Brigades website]