JERUSALEM (JTA) — Two more Israeli soldiers were killed in combat in Gaza, while another soldier presumed dead is missing.
The two soldiers were killed on Monday afternoon, the Israel Defense Forces said in a statement, and the families were notified.
The missing soldier is believed to have been one of seven troops from the Golani Brigade killed in a bombing attack early Sunday morning by Hamas on their armored vehicle.
On Monday night, the families of the seven soldiers were briefed by the IDF on the attack and the identification of the bodies.
“The efforts to identify the seventh soldier are ongoing and have yet to be determined,” the IDF said in a statement.
The military said it does not believe that anyone could have survived the explosion.
At least 26 Israeli soldiers have been killed since the IDF launched a ground operation in Gaza late last week.
Hamas claimed late Sunday night that it was holding an Israeli soldier, which it named as Shaul Aron. The Hamas spokesman did not say whether the soldier was alive or dead, but displayed his photo ID and provided his army serial number.
The IDF has identified the soldier as Oron Shaul, 21, of Poriya Illit in northern Israel.
Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations, Ron Prosor, on Monday denied the Hamas claim that it was holding a soldier who had been captured in Gaza.