FIRST PHOTO: Palestinian Terrorists Reportedly Capture Israeli Soldier in Gaza …Update: Envoy No Soldier Kidnapped
Palestinian terrorists announced they had captured an Israeli soldier today in Gaza.
Fireworks and shouts of “Allahu Akbar!” from local loudspeakers followed the news report.
This photo was later released by the Palestinians.
The Washington Post reported:
Seventy Palestinians were killed Sunday in a heavy bombardment of a Gaza neighborhood and 13 Israeli soldiers were slain in the most intense day of fighting in Israel’s current offensive against Hamas fighters, officials said. The Hamas military also announced that its fighters had captured an Israeli soldier.
Abu Obaida, a spokesman for the Al Qassam Brigades, appeared on Hamas TV to announce the soldier had been taken prisoner. Minutes later, there were fireworks and shouts of “God is great!” from loud speakers.
An Israeli military spokeswoman said the army was investigating the claim.
A kidnapped Israeli soldier would represent a victory for Hamas and a difficult new challenge for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
The last Israeli soldier abducted by Hamas was Gilad Shalit, who spent more than five years in captivity before being released in a controversial prisoner exchange in 2011 that freed 1,027 Palestinian security prisoners, some of whom carried out terror attacks against Israeli civilians. Shalit was captured by Hamas operatives who tunneled into Israel and snatched the corporal.
So far Israel has denied the claim by the terrorists.
— William Daroff (@Daroff) July 20, 2014
UPDATE: Israel’s U.N. Ambassador Ron Prosor said on Sunday there was no kidnapped Israeli soldier, dismissing a televised announcement in the Gaza Strip from Hamas’s armed wing that it had captured an Israeli soldier during the fighting in Shejaia.