Israeli soldier feared captured by Hamas killed in action in Gaza

Photo: Israeli soldier feared captured by Hamas killed in action in Gaza / Arab-Israel Relations

An Israeli soldier feared captured by Hamas militants has been killed in action during Israel's operation in the Gaza Strip, the Israeli military said Sunday, Xinhua reported.

A special committee led by Israeli Defense Forces Chief Rabbi announced the death of Lieutenant Hadar Goldin, who was killed in battle in the Gaza Strip on Friday, it said in a statement.

However, it didn't say whether the soldier's remains had been found.

On Friday, the Israeli government accused Hamas of breaching a 72-hour UN/U.S.-mediated ceasefire after attacking Israeli forces deployed near Gaza, saying it has lost contact with one of its soldiers after Hamas militants carried out a commando attack against an Israeli military site near Rafah.

Hamas admitted an earlier Friday attack that killed two other Israeli soldiers, but denied holding Goldin.

"We have lost contact with the mujahedeen unit that was in that ambush, and we think that all the fighters in this unit were killed by Zionist shelling along with the soldier, who the enemy says is missing," it said in a statement.

As cross-border violence in Gaza between Hamas and Israeli troops continued, both sides have vowed to keep fighting until their goals are achieved.

Palestinian health ministry said Sunday at least 1,712 Palestinians have been killed since Israel launched its offensive in the Gaza Strip against Hamas on July 8.

Israel has confirmed that 61 soldiers have died in combat, while Palestinian shelling has also killed three civilians in Israel.

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