JERUSALEM (JTA) – Two additional Israeli soldiers were killed in combat in Gaza, and a soldier who was believed to have been killed when an IDF armored vehicle was attacked is missing.
The two soldiers were killed on Monday afternoon, the IDF said in a statement, and the families were notified.
On Monday night, the families of the seven soldiers from the Golani Brigade who were on board the armored personnel carrier when it was attacked by a Hamas bomb were briefed by the IDF on the attack and the identification of the bodies. “The efforts to identify the seventh soldier are ongoing and have yet to be determined,” the IDF said in a statement.
The military does not believe that anyone could have survived the explosion.
Hamas claimed late on Sunday night that is was holding an Israeli soldier, which it named as Shaul Aron; the organization did not say whether the soldier was alive or dead, but displayed the soldier’s photo ID and provided his army serial number.
Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations, Ron Prosor, on Monday denied the Hamas claim that it was holding a soldier who had been captured in Gaza.
Following the announcement of the alleged capture by Hamas’ military wing late Sunday night, fireworks and celebrations were held in cities including Ramallah, Hebron and Bethlehem, according to the Palestinian Maan news agency.
Among Hamas demands for a cease-fire with Israel is the release of Hamas members who were rearrested by Israel in recent weeks after being freed in the Gilad Shalit prisoner exchange.