JERUSALEM — Israeli officials said on Tuesday that it was still not clear whether an Israeli soldier missing in Gaza had been captured or had died in combat.
The Israeli military said it had recovered the remains of six other soldiers who were killed in the same incident, but had not found or identified those of Sgt. Oron Shaul, 21, a soldier with the Golani brigade who is from Poria, in northern Israel.
The military wing of Hamas, the militant group that controls Gaza, said on Sunday that it had captured Sergeant Shaul.
A senior Israeli military official said on Tuesday that Sergeant Shaul was definitely among the seven soldiers in an armored personnel carrier that entered Gaza around 1 a.m. Sunday. The vehicle, an M-113 that the official said was 40 or 50 years old, encountered some problem — possibly a mechanical breakdown, or a roadblock or an ambush — and some of the soldiers got out to resolve it, he said, speaking on the condition of anonymity under military rules. The vehicle was then hit by an antitank missile and caught fire, he said, and it was not yet known whether Sergeant Shaul was inside the carrier when it was hit.
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