Army declares Oron Shaul dead in Gaza fighting

(JTA) — The Israeli army declared dead a soldier who until now had been missing in action.

Sgt. Oron Shaul was declared dead on Friday, the army spokesman said in a statement, by a special committee led by the military’s chief rabbi, Brig. Gen. Rafi Peretz.

The statement did not say what led to the conclusion, but declared that Shaul would be deemed “a soldier killed in action whose burial site is unknown.”

Hamas had previously intimated that it had taken Shaul prisoner during its war with Israel in the Gaza Strip, which started July 8. Shaul was first reported missing in the days following the launch of Israel’s ground operation on July 17.

Shaul brings to 37 the number of Israeli dead, including 34 soldiers and three civilians. More than 820 Palestinians have been killed.

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