Israel was working Tuesday to trace the remains of a young soldier, Sgt. Oron Shaul, who it believes was killed in an attack on an armored personnel carrier in Gaza on Sunday. Hamas claims it captured the 21-year-old and earlier displayed what it said were his photo ID and credentials. But Israel refutes the kidnap claims; security officials told NBC News on condition of anonymity that there is evidence Shaul could not have survived the attack, and the soldier has been classified as missing, presumed dead.
Five other members of the Golani Brigade inside the vehicle died after it was hit by an anti-tank missile after encountering mechanical difficulties. Hamas' claims that it captured the soldier prompted celebrations across Gaza and evoked memories of the group's trade in 2011 of Israeli conscript Gilad Shalit for 1,000 Palestinian prisoners. Shaul's family have refused to give up hope, with spokesman Racheli Gazit saying Tuesday that "as long as the identification process hasn't finished, and there are no unequivocal findings, he is still alive in the family’s eyes."
- Ben Plesser and Alexander Smith
First published July 22 2014, 12:04 PM