A 72-hour truce between Israel and Hamas had barely begun when it was shattered by the disappearance and later the presumed death of an Israeli soldier.
"The Israeli military fears one of its soliders may have been captured by Hamas militants." (Via Fox News)
The Israel Defense Forces said on Friday it suspects 2nd Lt. Hadar Goldin was ambushed and believed to be abducted by Hamas fighters in the Gazan town of Rafah. The IDF then tweeted Saturday that Goldin had been declared dead. (Via The Jerusalem Post, Twitter)
The White House was quick to back its Israeli allies, blaming Hamas for the collapse of the U.S. and United Nations-brokered truce.
"..and even take one hostage. That would be a rather barbaric violation of the ceasefire agreement." (Via CNN)
Hamas acknowledged the ambush, but in a statement obtained by The New York Times the group said "we have no idea about the disappearance of the Israeli soldier" and that it had lost touch with Hamas fighters in the area.
Hamas speculated Goldin was probably dead, likely killed alongside the fighters who seized him in an Israeli airstrike. (Via The Washington Post)
The uncertainty reveals a contrast between Israel's sophisticated U.S.-funded war machine and Hamas forces that are often unable to communicate with — or account for — its own troops.
But it remains an odd denial from Hamas, who The Times of Israel says hasn't disowned the kidnapping of an Israeli soldier since 1987. The Times says "Kidnappings of this nature were always a source of pride to Hamas."
And it's not hard to see why. Vox explains that hostage-taking is one of the few areas where Hamas can "beat" Israel. Gilad Shalit, an Israeli soldier captured by Hamas in 2006, was eventually exchanged for 1,027 Palestinian prisoners. (Via Israel Defense Forces)
Goldin's disappearance renewed violence between the warring factions.
"Already, the tank shelling had begun. Most of the ambulances waiting to ferry the dead an injured out could get no further. (Via Al Jazeera)
The United Nations says so far 66 Israelis have been killed compared to 1,525 slain Palestinians. Of those, 1,033 were civilians and 329 were children.