Israel launched dozens of airstrikes Saturday in the southern Gaza Strip as part of a large-scale search for a soldier Israel suspects was captured by Hamas fighters. At least 35 Palestinians were killed in the bombardment and shelling in and around the city of Rafah on Saturday, a Palestinian health official said, adding that the area’s main hospital was evacuated because of the strikes. The Israeli military has said it believes the soldier was grabbed in a Hamas ambush about an hour after an internationally brokered cease-fire took effect Friday morning.
I have been thinking of leaving since 2pm but tank fire can reach anywhere, and I was scared they will hit my pickup truck. Now we are sitting in the stairwell, 11 members of my family, my brother, his nine children and wife.
Rafah resident Ayman Al-Arja
The Israeli military said Lt Hadar Goldin, 23, disappeared in an ambush about an hour after a 72-hour cease-fire began on Friday. Gunmen emerged from one or more Gaza tunnels and opened fire at Israeli soldiers, with at least one of the militants detonating an explosives vest, said Israeli army spokesman Lt. Col. Peter Lerner. Hamas has denied capturing Goldin, saying he was probably killed during the suicide blast.