UPDATED: Ground operation day 5 – 2 more soldiers killed, Hamas claims to have abducted soldier, IDF names him as Oron Shaul

A soldier salutes at the funeral of St. Sgt. Moshe Malko at Mt. Herzl military cemetery in Jerusalem

The news so far for the 5th day of the ground operation of Operation Protective Edge (when will this war get a new name?) is that another two soldiers were killed in yesterday’s fighting, and Hamas have been claiming since the beginning of the week that they have abducted a soldier. It is fairly clear, though unconfirmed, that the soldier they claim to hold is no longer alive.

UPDATE: The army has named the missing soldier, believed KIA (killed in action) abducted, as Oron Shaul:

The IDF says the missing soldier who is believed to have died in the Gaza Strip on Sunday but whose body has not yet been identified is 19-year-old Oron Shaul from Poria.

Oron Shaul, believed to be killed and his body abducted by Hamas in Gaza

Oron Shaul, believed to be killed and his body abducted by Hamas in Gaza

Shaul and six other soldiers were in an armored personnel carrier which was hit by an anti-tank missile on Sunday, but while the others have been identified among the remains recovered from the scene, Shaul has not.

Hamas claimed on Sunday to have kidnapped Shaul, even publishing his name, but Israeli officials say gunmen may have simply retrieved some identifying items from the scene after the attack.

May Hashem avenge his blood. May his murderers and the sadistic inhuman beasts who abducted his body be punished from Heaven and on earth.

First here are the other updates from the Times of Israel (they are the best liveblog in my humble opinion):

IDF reveals name of 2nd soldier killed Monday afternoon

The IDF announces the name of the second soldier killed in action yesterday afternoon as First Sergeant Ohad Shemesh, 27, from Beit Elazari near Rehovot.

The first soldier was named earlier as Oded Ben-Sira, 22, from the northern community of Nir Etzion.

Shemesh’s funeral will take place Tuesday afternoon at 3:30 pm at the military cemetery in Mazkeret Batya.

Three soldiers were seriously wounded overnight, while four sustained light injuries in battles with Hamas, the IDF says.

There has been constant rocket fire on the south all morning, and earlier this morning rockets were shot at the Gush Dan region too (that siren caught me in the shower):

9 treated for shock, light injuries in central Israel

Magen David Adom teams in Petah Tikva and Yehud, east of Tel Aviv, are treating four people who injured themselves while running to shelters as rocket sirens blared in the city earlier.

Medics are also treating five people who suffered from shock.

Yehud home sustains direct hit by Gaza rocket

A rocket falls on house Yehud just east of Tel Aviv, causing extensive damage to a structure. Earlier reports were unclear as to whether it was just debris that had struck the house.

There are reports of two people lightly injured, though according to other accounts they were not physically hurt but were rather treated for anxiety.

Here’s a video of the devastation at the Yehud home:

The army issued some figures updated to Monday:

Troops uncovered 23 tunnels, killed 183 Hamas operatives, IDF says

Israel has uncovered 23 cross-border tunnels so far in its ground operations in the Gaza Strip, with 66 different access shafts to those tunnels, the military says.

Tunnel entrances have been found in houses and mosques, according to the army.

“They’re all interconnected, like a huge network of nerves and arteries,” says spokesman Lt. Col. Peter Lerner.

The IDF believes there are dozens more tunnels near the border, in various stages of readiness, which are intended for attacks against Israel.

The army says 183 Hamas gunmen have been killed by IDF troops operating on the ground in Gaza, and 470 injured. Twenty-eight operatives have been captured by troops and interrogated.

The military says a lot of the fighting on the ground has been focused around tunnel entrances, as Palestinian gunmen know the IDF is searching for the tunnels and concentrate their forces and ambush attempts in those areas.

In the past 24 hours the military says it struck 100 terror targets in the Shejaiya neighborhood of Gaza City, including two mosques that served as Hamas compounds and weapons storage sites. Other targets included “rocket launching facilities” and command centers.

All told, 2,050 rockets have been fired at Israel since Operation Protective Edge began. One thousand six hundred have hit the ground, mostly in open areas. The Iron Dome defense system has fired at 450, with a 90 percent success rate, the army says.

Watch this IDF video of Hamas terrorists emerging from a tunnel, and then being eliminated:

The violence is not restricted to Gaza either. An Israeli man was shot and severely wounded in the Shomron:

A 25-year-old Israeli man is in serious condition after being shot in the West Bank by one or more Palestinian gunmen.

The IDF says the man was standing near Rehelim Junction, south west of Tapuah Junction, when he was fired upon from a vehicle.

He was taken to Beilinson Hospital in Petah Tikva for treatment.

IDF forces are searching for the perpetrators.

In addition the army foiled an attempt to smuggle in arms and drugs from Jordan via the Dead Sea:

Shortly after 1 a.m. IDF lookouts spotted a suspicious vessel crossing the northern area of the saltwater lake.

When the boat reached the shore two men got out and hid a sack among the bushes on the beach. Three other men emerged and joined them. As the gang was still at the site, security forces arrived and detained them.

Officials uncovered seven shotguns, six pistols, and a large quantity of marijuana. Two of the men were from Jericho and the other three from East Jerusalem. All five were taken for questioning.

The IDF suspects that the weapons were intended for terror groups operating in the West Bank.

Returning to the headline, the most worrying news is that Hamas claims to have abducted a soldier, and indeed the IDF have said that they have now identified 6 of the 7 remaining unidentified soldiers from the group of 13 who were killed overnight on Saturday night, implying that one soldier is still missing:

The IDF has identified only six of the seven soldiers caught in a deadly ambush in Gaza City’s Shejaiya area earlier this week, the army announced Tuesday. The seventh soldier would appear to be missing in action. There is no definitive evidence of whether he is alive or dead.

“The identification process of six of the soldiers killed has been completed and confirmed,” the army said in a statement. “The efforts to identify the seventh soldier are ongoing and have yet to be determined.”

The announcement came several days after Hamas announced that it had abducted a soldier. “The Israeli soldier [name deleted] is in the hands of the Qassam Brigades,” a Hamas spokesman said more than 12 hours after the battle.

The army released the names of the six confirmed dead soldiers:

Sgt. Max Steinberg, 24, originally from Los Angeles; First Sgt. Shahar Tase, 20, from Pardesiya;
First Sgt. Daniel Pomerantz, 20, from Kfar Azar;
Sgt. Shon Mondshein, 19, from Tel Aviv;
Sgt. Ben Yitzhak Oanounou, 19, from Ashdod; and
First Sgt. Oren Simcha Noach, 22, from Hoshaya.

May Hashem avenge their blood and may their deaths not have been in vain.

The battle in Shejaiya began on Saturday night. During the early hours Sunday, a 1970s-model armored personnel carrier got stuck in one of the neighborhood’s narrow streets. A soldier and an officer got out of the armored vehicle to try and fix the problem, according to a report in the Hebrew daily Yedioth Ahronoth. Shortly thereafter, Hamas operatives opened fire on the stalled vehicle. An anti-tank missile penetrated the APC and exploded, causing immense damage.

The other soldiers in the area fought to reach the APC and either save or evacuate their comrades. Channel 10 reported that the army promptly summoned a drone over the area to provide visuals from above. No Hamas members, the channel said, were seen making contact with the APC or any of the bodies.

Nonetheless, after careful forensic work the army was not able to locate any traces of the seventh soldier.

Hamas, which, like Hezbollah, has a long history of sadistically toying with Israel over the fate of its soldiers, has released an ID photo of the apparently missing soldier along with his army ID number.

The family, which has been forced to swing back and forth between grim certainty over the fate of their son and a profound uncertainty, is being accompanied by army officers and constantly updated about the situation.

Maj. Gen. Orna Barbivai, the head of the IDF’s Manpower Division, has visited the family and is personally keeping them updated.

The IDF does say that there is little chance the soldier survived.

Two days after a Hamas announcement that it abducted an IDF soldier, the IDF says that the body of one of the seven soldiers who were in an armored personnel carrier that was destroyed in an attack early Sunday has not been identified among the remains recovered from the scene.

The bodies of the other six soldiers have been identified, and the seventh, whose name has not been released for publication, is presumed to have been killed in the attack.

The IDF stresses that there is little chance that the soldier survived the attack.

Hamas and other terror groups have been known to snatch remains of IDF soldiers and trade them for live prisoners.

This is a dreadful situation for the family. It is equally as dreadful for the IDF and a matter of huge concern to the whole people. I just hope Israel is not drawn in to another lopsided “prisoner” exchange for a dead body as happened with Hezbollah and the bodies of Regev and Goldwasser.

We are dealing with inhuman (I would go as far as to call them sub-human though it is strictly un-PC to say so) sadistic bastards who delight in torturing us psychologically as well as physically. We must not give in. We must stand firm, give the family as much support as we can, and then we must soldier on, literally.

May the rest of the day bring better news.

May Hashem protect our soldiers and watch over all of us.

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3 Responses to UPDATED: Ground operation day 5 – 2 more soldiers killed, Hamas claims to have abducted soldier, IDF names him as Oron Shaul

  1. Reality says:

    I just saw a brilliant letter someone wrote to Bibi. Basically she stated that we MUST say no to a ceasefire until Hamas are absolutely begging for one,and in order to bring US to the table to TALK we have demands.
    1) Return the soldier (or his body)
    2) Obama releases Jonathan Pollard.
    I hope Bibi gets that letter.

  2. Brian Goldfarb says:

    I watched yesterday (UK time) the press conference addressed by Bibi & Ban Ki Moon. Bibi stressed, more than once and in different ways, all the war crimes that Hamas were committing, including using human shields, generalised aiming at civilians, etc, and that Israel was attempting to warn civilians to evacuate and that Hamas ordered them back. he also stressed that Hamas was using the concrete imported via the crossings not to build schools, homes and hospitals but tunnels into Israel, from those self-same schools..

    He left Ban Ki Moon wafting at air, because what could he say but “Give Peace a Chance”? And Bibi had amply demonstrated that Israel has, with the only response being rocket attacks against civilians. Moon did, however, acknowledge reluctantly, that Bibi was right.

    Looked like he was sucking lemons while doing it.

    • anneinpt says:

      Indeed. I could only hear the speeches because I was in the car, but I could hear Ban’s reluctance in his voice.

      Stupid idiot.

      They all think if they repeat their mantras enough, peace will drop out of the sky. But the only thing dropping down is rockets and missiles.

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