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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.