GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip - An Israeli soldier was feared captured in Gaza on Friday as a three-day cease-fire brokered by John Kerry collapsed after less than two hours.
In a statement, the Israel Defense Forces said "initial indication" suggested that 2nd Lt. Hadar Goldin, 23, had been seized while taking part in an operation to decommission a tunnel belonging to militants. Two other soldiers were killed in the attack. The Israeli military told NBC News that Goldin had been captured in the Gaza Strip, but would not confirm where exactly.
The incident occurred about 90 minutes into a 72-hour cease-fire that had been announced by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Kerry late Thursday, the IDF said. According to The Associated Press, the terms of the truce allowed Israeli troops on the ground in Gaza to continue to destroy tunnels along the heavily guarded frontier, but only those that are behind Israeli defensive lines and lead into Israel. However, the military wing of Hamas, the Al-Qassam Brigades, said on its website that Israeli troops “began an incursion” and accused Israel of breaking the cease-fire. The statement made no mention of capturing a soldier. Within two hours of the cease-fire coming into effect, dozens of Palestinians were killed by Israeli shelling in Rafah.
- Baruch Ben-Chorin, James Novogrod and F. Brinley Bruton
The Associated Press contributed to this report.