Israel’s ministry of defense has changed the listing of two soldiers missing since 2014 in the Gaza Strip from “killed in action” to “captured”, Arabi 21 has reported. According to Maariv newspaper, the designation has been amended due to the lack of information about the circumstances of their death or capture and the nonexistence of graves.
The Israel Defense Forces sent letters to the families of the two soldiers informing them of the change. They pointed out that the IDF will now adopt appropriate measures as a consequence of the new designation.
The story of the two soldiers – Saul Aaron and Hadar Golden – goes back to the military offensive waged by Israel on the Gaza Strip in summer 2014. The military wing of Hamas announced that it had captured Aaron during an attack on the armored vehicle in which he was travelling with his comrades in Al-Shuja’iyah neighborhood at the start of the war. The Ezzedine Al-Qassam Brigades disclosed his name and number after the operation in which 10 other Israeli soldiers were killed.
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Golden was taken captive prior to the implementation of the truce that was approved on 1 August 2014. A special Israeli force tried to penetrate deep into the Rafah region just hours before the truce came into effect. They were ambushed and several soldiers were killed.
At the time, Al-Qassam Brigades refused to confirm the capture of Golden, who is a relative of former Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon. A spokesman simply said that contact was lost with the group that clashed with the Israeli occupation forces when a tunnel used during the operation collapsed. On 1 April this year, however, Al-Qassam Brigades announced that it is holding 4 Israeli prisoners, including Aaron and Golden.