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July 22, 2014 1:33 pm

Family of Missing Israeli Soldier Oron Shaul Hoping He’s Still Alive

avatar by Dave Bender

Missing IDF soldier Oren Shaul. Photo: Channel 10

Missing IDF soldier Oren Shaul. Photo: Channel 10.

The family of an IDF soldier missing in the wake of an intense battle with Hamas in Gaza over Saturday night are holding on to hope that he’s still alive.

“The investigation is still not complete,” Raheli Gazit, a representative of the concerned family, told Channel 2 News on Tuesday, and added that “we hope it will be concluded as soon as possible.”

The army said in a statement Tuesday that “Sergeant Oron Shaul, a combat soldier of the Golani brigade, 21 years old from Poria is the soldier whose identification process is yet to be completed.”

The announcement comes two days after Hamas claimed that it had captured Shaul in Gaza.

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“The Israeli soldier Oron Shaul is in the hands of the Qassam Brigades,” according to a statement by a Hamas spokesman, the Times of Israel reported.

Hamas fired an anti-tank round at the armored personnel carrier he and six other soldier’s were traveling in, during fierce fighting on the coastal enclave’s northern  Shejaiya neighborhood.

After recovering the bodies, the army succeeded in identifying the other six occupants.

“We’re on constant contact with the IDF,” Gazit said, noting the difficulty in coping with the fear and uncertainty of waiting for confirmation.

Gazit demussed when asked about claims by Hamas that they held Oren’s remains.

“I prefer not to discuss rumors,” she said, adding that, “we have army sources that are updating us with information that we are relating to.”

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