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Hamas Reportedly Captures Israeli Soldier; Update: Israel Denies

A Hamas-affiliated group announced Sunday afternoon that it had captured an Israeli soldier, starting the next chapter in the escalating battle between the Palestinian organization and Israel that started several weeks ago. Israel has not confirmed the soldier’s capture.

Hamas-affiliated al-Qassam Brigades made the announcement Sunday afternoon, hours after the soldier’s capture. Hamas published the soldier’s name, Shaul Aron, and accused Israel of trying to paper over the soldier’s disappearance. “The fact that they did not announce (the loss of the soldier) shows that they were trying to hide their losses,” a spokesperson said.

The alleged abduction comes on the bloodiest day of the conflict for Israel, which lost thirteen IDF soldiers in attack Sunday, even as the Palestinian death toll rose above 400.

The last Israeli kidnapped by Hamas was Gilad Shalit in 2006, who was eventually released in 2011 in exchange for over 1,000 Palestinian prisoners.

UPDATE — 10:54 p.m. ET: “There’s no kidnapped Israeli soldier and those rumours are untrue,” said Israel’s UN ambassador Ron Prosor.

[h/t Ma’an News Agency]

[Image via ChameleonsEye / Shutterstock.com]

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