Wednesday, August 6, 2014

No Retreat No Surrender, Israel Attacks Gaza After Hamas Kidnapped Israeli soldier

Tank fire and airstrikes pummeled Gaza, as Israeli forces moved deeper into the West Bank, searching for a soldier apparently captured by Hamas militants, despite a three-day cease-fire that didn't even last two hours Friday.  

The suspected kidnapping occurred shortly after a heavy exchange of gunfire erupted in the southern Gaza town of Rafah. Militants reportedly emerged from a tunnel shaft before a suicide bomber detonated himself, one senior Israel Defense Forces source told The Jerusalem Post.
Hadar Goldin, a 23-year-old 2nd Lt. from the central Israeli town of Kfar Saba, was apparently captured during the ensuing mayhem and taken back into Gaza through a tunnel, while another two soldiers were killed.

Haaretz reported Saturday that Hamas' military wing said it had no knowledge of the soldier's whereabouts, but he could have been killed in an Israeli bombing after being nabbed by Hamas.

"We lost contact with the group of combatants that took part in the ambush, and we believe they were all killed in the bombardment," the statement said. "Assuming that they managed to abduct the soldier during combat, we assess that he was also killed in the incident."

At least 62 Palestinians and two Israeli soldiers were killed in the fierce fighting that quickly shattered an internationally brokered cease-fire.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told Secretary of State John Kerry that Hamas militants will ”bear the consequences of their actions, ” after reports of the kidnapping. Netanyahu told Kerry by phone Friday that Israel will continue to defense itself against attacks, Jewish newspaper Algemeiner reported.

“Prime Minister Netanyahu told U.S. Secretary of State Kerry that Hamas and the other terrorist organizations in the Gaza Strip will bear the consequences of their actions and that Israel would take all necessary steps against those who call for our destruction and perpetrate terrorism against our citizens,” an Israeli government press office statement read.

Kerry issued a statement while traveling back to the U.S. from India Friday, condemning the violence in Gaza and possible kidnapping of the Israeli soldier, calling it an ‘”outrageous violation of the cease-fire. “

“Hamas, which has security control over the Gaza Strip, must immediately and unconditionally release the missing Israeli soldier, and I call on those with influence over Hamas to reinforce this message,” Kerry’s statement said.

“The international community must now redouble its efforts to end the tunnel and rocket attacks by Hamas terrorists on Israel and the suffering and loss of civilian life,” the statement concluded.  
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon blamed Hamas for violating the cease-fire and demanded the immediate and unconditional release of the missing soldier.

A Hamas spokesman, Fawzi Barhoum, would neither confirm nor deny the capture, saying it was being used -- along with news that two Israeli soldiers were killed in the Rafah area -- as a cover for a "massacre."

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