An IDF soldier was kidnapped by Gaza terrorists, the IDF said Friday, with a senior official blaming Hamas for using the ceasefire to take the soldier hostage. Two other soldiers were killed in the incident.
It was cleared for publication that Givati Battalion Second Lieutenant Hadar Goldin (23) from Kfar Saba was missing and feared to have been abducted Friday morning during clashes in the Gaza Strip near Rafah.
According to an announcement by the IDF, at 9:30 am Friday, terrorists opened fire at IDF forces in southern Gaza. Initial information from the scene indicated that there is a chance that an IDF soldiers was kidnapped during the incident.
The event is still ongoing, the IDF said, and forces are working with military intelligence to find the soldier.
“(Israeli) forces operating to decommission an (infiltration) tunnel were attacked. Initial indications are that a soldier has been abducted by terrorists during the operation,” the spokesman, Lieutenant-Colonel Peter Lerner said in a conference call with journalists.
Hamas official Mousa Abu Marzook said Friday that Israel had officially informed the UN that an IDF soldier may be missing in the Gaza Strip in the area of Rafah.
According to Abu Marzook, “The UN informed Egypt because they are the broker (of ceasefire efforts).”
Speaking with Ynet, a senior IDF source said that the possible kidnapping of an IDF soldier was carried out in a skirmish near a smuggling tunnel and was aided by a suicide bomber. According to him, a terrorists appeared while forces were searching for tunnels, one of them then blew himself up, during which time others kidnapped the solider.
“I can confirm that at 9:30 Hamas broke the ceasefire and that there is a growing fear that a soldier has been kidnapped,” a senior IDF source told Ynet, adding the incident took place while forces were searching for tunnels, a right Israel maintained as part of the ceasefire agreement.
“His family has been informed and massive clashes are still underway. Numerous terrorists have been killed.”
The lull was seemingly first broken by terror factions in Gaza who fired a mortar at Israel at roughly 10 am Friday morning. The mortar, which was followed by another shortly after, failed to land in Israel, falling in Gaza territory. Meanwhile, massive clashes and fire were reported from Gaza which left at least 40 dead.
The IDF also said on Friday that a Gaza ceasefire that went into effect earlier on Friday is now over and military operations were in progress on the ground.
Asked during a media conference call if the ceasefire was over, Lieutenant-Colonel Peter Lerner, a military spokesman, said: “Yes. We are continuing our activities on the ground.”
Read more at Ynet News.