A spokesman for the armed wing of the Palestinian Hamas has claimed the group has abducted an Israeli soldier on Sunday, prompting celebrations in the streets of Gaza.
A masked spokesperson of the group announced in a televised address using the nom-de-guerre ‘Abu Obeida’ said, “the Israeli soldier Shaul Aaron is in the hands of the Qassam Brigades.”
The Qassam Brigades said the Israeli soldier, Shaul Aaron, was kidnapped during fighting on the Gaza strip 24 hours earlier, reported AFP.
“We have captured a Zionist soldier and the occupation has not admitted that.”
A spokeswoman for the Israeli army said they were investigating the claim.
Hamas last kidnapped an Israeli soldier in 2006 named Gilad Shalit.
Shalit was held until 2011, when he was freed in exchange of 1,027 Palestinian prisoners, a number of which have been rearrested by Israeli forces.
The announcement comes on day 13 of the violent escalation between Israel and Hamas which has left more than 430 Palestinians and 20 Israelis killed.