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Israel Denies Hamas Captured Israeli Soldier

Earlier today, Al Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas, claimed it captured an Israeli soldier, Shaul Aron. Israel's ambassador to the U.N., Ron Prossor, now denies the claim.

"There's no kidnapped Israeli soldier and those rumours are untrue," said Israel's UN ambassador Ron Prosor.

It appears the soldier, whose name is Oron Shaul, was one of 13 Israeli soldiers killed yesterday, but was not captured alive. Hamas may have found his identification, or it may have taken his name from this leaked list of the 13 soldiers who were killed. The list is not from an official source.

Prior to the official denial, many reporters and analysts on Twitter doubted the claim. Here's why. [More...]

In a nutshell, Hamas released a photo purportedly showing an Israeli soldier being led away. The photo turned out to be from 2008. Another photo Hamas released of the captured soldier was taken from his Facebook page-- Oron Shaul. A third photo it released of his identification cards turns out to be from 2012 and perhaps earlier. Here's a google search showing multiple displays of the same ID cards in 2012. And, they are civilian cards, not military ID.

Israel announced today that 13 of its soldiers had been killed, but only released the name of five of them. Oron Shaul's name was not on the list. But a list of the names of the 13 was leaked on this forum, and a name very similar (but backwards) appears. (This is the cached version.)

אורון שאול ז"ל טבריה versus אורון שאול

Also, Oron Shaul's Facebook page shows dozens of his friends expressing sorrow for his death (not capture) since early this morning. It was also reported his body was at the Tel HaShomer hospital, awaiting transfer to the Abu Kabir morgue, and he'd be buried tomorrow.

If there is a funeral and burial tomorrow for Oron Shaul, as expected, then Hamas just made this up. Why? Since I have no clue and know next to nothing about Hamas, I won't even try and guess.

R.I.P. Oron Shaul and the other 12 Israeli soldiers who died yesterday, and all the civilians, including so many children, who have died in Gaza. War sucks -- for everyone.

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