Israel denies Hamas claim it has taken Israeli soldier hostage

The IDF said it could clarify 'there is no incident in which a soldier was abducted'
The IDF said it could clarify 'there is no incident in which a soldier was abducted' - IDF

The Israel Defense Forces has denied a claim by Hamas to have captured at least one Israeli soldier during an ambush in its tunnel network on Saturday.

Hamas’s military wing, the Al-Qassem Brigades, shared a video apparently showing a soldier being dragged along the floor of a tunnel. The video is captioned “watch as the Al-Qassem Brigades lure a Zionist force into one of the tunnels in the Jabalia camp and engage it from zero distance, killing, wounding and capturing all its members”.

The video could not be verified by the Telegraph. The alleged soldier appears to be wearing jeans in the clip, which diminishes the chances of it involving a member of the Israeli armed forces.

The IDF said in a statement that it could clarify “there is no incident in which a soldier was abducted”.

It came as IDF warplanes and artillery pounded the southern city of Rafah on Sunday after the government dismissed an order to halt the offensive by the UN’s top court.

Hostage negotiations are set to resume shortly after David Barnea, the director of Mossad, and William Burns, the director of the CIA, met in Paris last week to discuss a new infrastructure to be put in place.

Qatar, one of the Arab mediators, recently threatened to pull out of negotiations after Israel began its invasion of Rafah, where around half the Gazan population is taking refuge.

New proposals from Egypt and Qatar are said to be at the centre of the talks, as pressure inside Israel to reach a deal intensifies. Demonstrations around the country on Saturday night saw tens of thousands demanding that prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu strike a deal to bring back the remaining hostages, who include women, children and the elderly.

However, Mr Netanyahu has vowed that the war, which Hamas claims has led to more than 30,000 deaths, will continue until Hamas is entirely dismantled.

On Sunday, former Israeli defence minister and war cabinet member, Benny Gantz, in an unprecedented move, called for an investigation into the Israeli government and army for the mistakes which led to October 7. Over 1,200 mostly civilians were killed in the single most deadly day for Jews since the Holocaust.

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