UNITED NATIONS, July 20 (Xinhua) -- An Israeli envoy on Sunday dismissed the Hamas armed wing's claim that they had kidnapped an Israeli soldier.
Ron Prosor, Israel's Permanent Representative to the United Nations, made the clarification at the UN headquarters as the Security Council is holding an emergency meeting on the escalating conflict between Israel and Palestine.
"There's no kidnapped Israeli soldier and those rumors are untrue," he told reporters here.
Earlier on Sunday Hamas' armed wing Qassam Brigades announced that they had kidnapped an Israeli soldier and hold him captive in Gaza. They identified the soldier as Shaul Aron and his military number as 6092065, saying that they succeeded in kidnapping him during an ambush in Attufah neighborhood in Gaza city.
Hamas made the claim four days after Israel launched a ground operation into Gaza to end rocket fire. Israel's military operation has resulted in the deaths of more than 450 Palestinians and the injury of some 3040 others in Gaza. One Israeli citizen and 13 soldiers have also been killed, while 65 others injured.
The Security Council is holding an emergency meeting Sunday night on the worsening situation in Gaza. Diplomats said the meeting was requested by council member Jordan, as regional leaders met in Doha for urgent talks on a ceasefire.
JERUSALEM/GAZA, July 21 (Xinhua) -- The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) on Sunday evening refused to comment on Hamas' claim of having kidnapped an Israeli soldier, but a military source told Xinhua that the "kidnapped" was among the 13 Israeli soldier who died in earlier clashes with militants.
A Hamas spokesperson said on Sunday that they had "captured a Zionist soldier," releasing a photograph with his name and military ID number. The IDF later said they are looking into the report and cannot confirm nor deny it so far. Full story
RAMALLAH, July 20 (Xinhua) -- Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Sunday called on the UN Security Council to hold an emergency session to discuss Israel's ongoing large-scale military operation in the Gaza Strip.
"The failure of the Security Council to make a decision on ending the Israeli aggression and the massacres against our people doesn't relieve it from its responsibility in accordance to the international law," Abbas said in a televised speech. "Therefore, I'm calling on the Security Council to hold another emergency session tonight." Full story
GAZA/JERUSALEM, July 20 (Xinhua) -- The Gaza Strip witnessed the bloodiest day on Sunday since Israel launched its offensive there nearly two weeks ago, as the death toll passed 100 in a single day after Israeli artillery bombing on the most densely populated neighborhood of Sheja'eya in eastern Gaza city.
Survivals from the stricken area, which is less than two km from the borders with Israel, said right after they had their Ramadan breakfast on Saturday evening, tank shells showered the neighborhood. Smell of gunpowder mixed with blood overwhelmed the narrow alleys and roads, where bodies of dead women and children were laying on the ground, according to witnesses. Full story