Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, taken prisoner by Palestinian resistance factions in 2006 to swap for detainees in Israeli jails, was reportedly wounded in one of strikes mounted by Israel on Gaza Strip.
"Shalit sustained injuries after an Israeli F-16 bombed a building where he was being held," a senior official of the Ezz el-Dine el-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas, told IslamOnline.net.
He added that a number of Hamas fighters who were guarding the Israeli soldier, captured in an attack in June 2006 to swap for Palestinian detainees in Israel, were also wounded in the strike.
Israel unleashed on Saturday a wave of airstrike against targets across the Gaza Strip, the world’s most heavily-populated area.
Israeli aircraft have since not stopped striking targets in Gaza, claiming the lives of 345 Palestinians and wounding more than 1,650 others.
The onslaught has left a trail of destruction with flattened homes, mosques, buildings and security headquarters.
The Hamas military official declined to elaborate on the injuries sustained by the Israeli soldier.
"He is still alive and has been taken to a safe location to receive medical treatment. He might need to undergo surgery," he elaborated.
"We are offering him the necessary treatment but in light of what is available in Gaza, which is not much. It’s not in our interest that he dies of his injuries."
Egypt-brokered indirect negotiations between Israel and Hamas on a prisoner swap has been deadlocked over Israel’s refusal to release 1000 Palestinian detainees in exchange for Shalit.
The Hamas military official said Israel probably was not aware of Shalit’s whereabouts.
"That’s unless they wanted to close that file without having to offer something in exchange."