The IDF Spokesperson’s Unit said Tuesday that an IDF soldier has been missing since a deadly battle Sunday that claimed the lives of at least six soldiers. The soldiers died when an anti-tank missile struck their armored personnel carrier in the Gaza Strip. Six bodies have been positively identified, but the military admitted this morning that the process of identifying the seventh fallen soldier was “stuck.”
Following the incident, Hamas reported that it had kidnapped a soldier, but IDF officials refused to confirm or deny the item. However, Israel Radio reported that the army has identified the missing soldier as Oron Shaul, and quoted the Egyptian paper el-Arabiyya, which said Israel has asked a German intermediary to make contact with Hamas to inquire about the Shaul’s body.
IDF officials said that surveillance of the incident indicated that Hamas members had tried to kidnap soldiers or bodies following the attack, and they stressed that Shaul was most likely killed in the attack. They added that Hamas is unlikely to posses more than a boot or a dog tag from the missing soldier.
Members of the Shaul family told 0404 news, “IDF representatives came to our house last night and told us that [Oron] has yet to be identified, but they added that the army believes he was killed in action. They said they paid no attention to announcements made by the Hamas terror gang, and that the army was continuing to collect evidence to identify [all the soldiers killed in the attack]. We told them that as long as his body has not been positively identified, he should not be listed as dead, but rather as missing in action.
“As long as there is no proof to the contrary, from our perspective he is alive,” the family said.