Israel denies Hamas claims of kidnapped soldier

Palestinians dance while flying a Palestinian Islamic Jihad Movement flag reading in Arabic “there is only one God and Muhammad is his prophet,” during celebrations in the West Bank city of Ramallah, late Sunday, July 20, 2014. (photo credit: AP Photo/Nasser Nasser)

Israel has consistently denied a claim by Hamas Sunday night to have captured an IDF soldier during fighting in the Gaza Strip.

The military wing of Hamas, Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, announced that it had captured the Israeli in Shejaiya. During a press conference, the group gave a name for the ostensible prisoner and even presented a military ID number. The name given by Hamas was very similar to the name of one of the soldiers confirmed killed in the fighting in Shejaiya early Sunday morning.
Israel’s UN ambassador denied on Sunday that an Israeli soldier had been abducted by Hamas. “There is no kidnapped Israeli soldier and those rumors are untrue,” said Ron Prosor.

Still, while the bodies of the seven soldiers who were on the destroyed APC are still undergoing final identification, the claim was being investigated by Israel. The family of the soldier was told that their son was slain, and that his body is in the Abu Kabir Forensic Institute.

Regardless, the Hamas announcement led to elation across the West Bank, and fireworks and celebratory gunfire in the Gaza Strip.

Celebrations in Gaza… May Allah bless them with happiness always.. ❤️ #GazaResists
— ThatYemeniGirl (@DeeMoDee) July 20, 2014