'If we don't get our soldier back, we should start levelling Gaza': Palestinians face new wave of bloodshed as ceasefire breaks down after Israeli soldier whose family lived in Britain is kidnapped by Hamas
- Lieutenant Hadar Goldin, 23, believed to be from a Jewish family who lived in Cambridge for several years
- 'Abduction took place when militants emerged from tunnel and detonated bomb vest, killing two other soldiers'
- Israel resumed shelling in Gaza just two hours after start of ceasefire after accusing Hamas of snatching soldier
- Military wing of Hamas claims kidnapping happened before the truce and accused Israel of 'violating' peace deal
- Gaza officials claim at least 50 Palestinians were killed and 200 injured in 'random' shelling in the town of Rafah
- Truce started at 8am local time (6am BST) to give Gazans chance of humanitarian relief and time to bury the dead
The Foreign Office is urgently investigating reports that a soldier thought to have been captured by Hamas fighters in Gaza is a British Israeli.
Lieutenant Hadar Goldin, 23, is believed to be from a family of Jewish immigrants and the third cousin of Israeli Defence Minister Moshe Yaalon.
He disappeared when a humanitarian ceasefire brokered by the United States and the United Nations collapsed into more bloodshed just hours after it was supposed to take effect.
Reports of the kidnapping provoked a furious backlash from Israel, with former deputy defence minister, Danny Danon saying: 'If we don't get the soldier back within a few hours we should start levelling Gaza.'
It is believed Lt Goldin lived for several years in Cambridge with his twin brother on two occasions at the age of six and 15.
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Israel has accused Hamas of kidnapping Lt Hadar Goldin (left), who is believed to be from a family of British Jewish immigrants, as the ceasefire collapsed (right)
Homeless: Members of the Al Kafarna family react as they inspect the rubble of their destroyed house in the town of Beit Hanun
His father spent time on sabbatical as an academic at Cambridge University and the family played an active role in the Jewish community, a friend told the Jerusalem Post.
Rabbi Reuven Leigh, who is a chaplain at the University of Cambridge and a rabbi in the local community, wrote on Twitter: 'Shaken to hear of Hadar Goldin's kidnapping, he spent a few years living in Cambridge with his family, please pray for his safe return.'
Israeli army spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Peter Lerner said that the apparent abduction took place when Palestinian gunmen emerged from their network of tunnels with at least one fighter detonating an explosives vest.
In the ensuing mayhem, Lt Goldin was apparently captured and taken back into Gaza through a tunnel, while another two soldiers were killed.
'We suspect that he has been kidnapped,' Col Lerner said.
Col Lerner said he was unable to confirm whether the captured soldier was British-Israeli but said it was a 'possibility'.
Agony: Seven-year-old Ahmad Al Kafarna cries over the rubble of his destroyed house in Beit Hanun in the northern Gaza Strip as a humanitarian ceasefire broke down
Nowhere to go: A Palestinian woman carries her belongings from her destroyed house in the Shejaia neighborhood after it was hit by Israeli shelling
Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said officials were still investigating reports in the Israeli media that 2nd Lieutenant Hadar Goldin is a British Israeli but so far had no information to support them.
Mr Hammond warned the apparent abduction of Lt Goldin - less than two hours after the start of a supposed humanitarian ceasefire between Israel and Hamas in Gaza - could have serious consequences.
'If the reports that Hamas broke the ceasefire are correct then that is very serious indeed, as is the kidnapping of the Israeli soldier which will make it all the more difficult to re-establish the ceasefire to allow a humanitarian pause in Gaza,' he said.
Israel and Hamas blamed each other for the breakdown of the ceasefire - which saw fighting break out again less than two hours after a supposed three-day truce started at 8am local time (6am BST).
Israel had earlier cited the kidnapping as the reason why it resumed shelling in Gaza, killing more than 50 Palestinians and injuring more than 200 others.
However, the Al Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas, said the soldier had not been taken after the ceasefire.
In a statement on Twitter, it said: 'There is no justification for Israel to violate the truce as the officer was captured and two soldiers were killed before the truce.'
Appalling loss of life: Palestinian Nidal Abu Rjeilah, 30, leans over the blanket-covered corpse of his disabled sister Ghadeer, 17, in the southern Gaza village of Khuzaa
Obliterated: Destroyed houses in Al-Shejaeiya neighbourhood in the east of Gaza City after the ceasefire between Hamas and Israel collapsed
Col Lerner said the attack happened in southern Gaza where Israeli forces had been searching for tunnels which posed a 'huge threat'.
He said: 'In the early hours of today during the humanitarian ceasefire that the Israeli defence forces were implementing, at 9.30am, some terrorists came out of the ground.
'One of them had a suicide belt on and blew himself up. Others came out and carried out some shooting and gun fight.
'In the aftermath of that, we had two soldiers killed in this attack and indeed Lt Goldin was supposedly abducted from the site.
'Hamas were using this humanitarian recess as a cover to carry out this attack while we were holding our fire.'
A spokesman for the Board of Deputies of British Jews said: 'The Board of Deputies of British Jews and the Jewish Leadership Council, on behalf of the UK Jewish community, would like to express our dismay and revulsion at the kidnapping of British born, Israeli soldier Hadar Goldin.
'The kidnapping took place as part of a violent ambush by Hamas, within hours of the UN, US and Egypt-backed "72-hour ceasefire" taking effect.
'We urge the Government to show its support for the Goldin family and to speak out against this deplorable act by the terrorist group Hamas and do everything in its power to secure his release.'
Palestinians walk by the rubble of destroyed houses in the heavily bombed town of Beit Hanoun as Hamas and Israel blamed each other for breaking the truce
Left in ruins: The three-week war has killed nearly 1,500 Palestinians, mainly civilians, and more than 60 Israelis, nearly all soldiers
The Israeli military says Gaza militants also fired eight rockets and mortars at Israel, one of which was intercepted.
Gaza health official Ashraf al-Kidra said that in addition to the dead, some 200 Palestinians were wounded in the 'random' Israeli shelling of the Rafah area in southern Gaza.
He said the death toll could rise as rescue workers continue to search for people buried under the rubble of several apartment blocks hit by shells.
He did not say whether the victims were civilians or militants. Palestinian sources also claimed three other people were shot by Israeli sniper fire.
'Once again, Hamas and the terror organizations in Gaza have blatantly broken the ceasefire to which they committed, this time before the American Secretary of State and the UN Secretary General,' Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office said in a statement shortly after the fighting broke out.
Israel launched an aerial campaign against Gaza aimed at halting Palestinian rocket fire on July 8 and later sent in ground troops to target launch sites and tunnels used by Hamas to carry out attacks inside Israel.
The war has killed at least 1,500 Palestinians, mainly civilians, and more than 60 Israelis, nearly all soldiers.
Innocent victims: A mother cradles her two children, while other toddlers lies on a mat next to her, at a hospital in Rafah
Terrified: Palestinian children, whom medics say were wounded by Israeli shelling, receive treatment at a hospital in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip
Traumatised: Gaza health official Ashraf al-Kidra said that in addition to the dead, some 200 Palestinians were wounded in 'random' Israeli shelling of the Rafah area
Shocking: A Palestinian girl injured in an Israeli assault on Rafah cries as she receives treatment at the Abu Yousef al-Najjar Hospital in Gaza City
At least four short humanitarian ceasefires have been announced since the conflict began, but each has been broken within a few hours by renewed fighting.
Today's temporary ceasefire was the longest to be announced thus far.
Under the ceasefire, Israeli troops on the ground in Gaza were to continue to destroy tunnels along the heavily guarded frontier, but only those that are behind Israeli defensive lines and lead into Israel.
Netanyahu on Thursday vowed to destroy Hamas' tunnel network 'with or without a ceasefire.'
Bombardment: An Israeli mobile artillery unit fires towards the Gaza Strip after the military formally announced the end of the ceasefire
Near miss: Palestinians look at an unexploded Israeli shell that landed on the main road outside the town of Deir Al-Balah in the central Gaza Strip
Blitzed: Smoke billows from buildings following Israeli military strikes near Rafah in the Gaza Strip that killed at least eight people two hours into a three-day ceasefire
Reduced to rubble: Medics said at least 35 people were killed and 150 wounded in intensive Israeli shelling on buildings in southern Gaza
But military spokesman Moti Almoz told Army Radio today that Israel would not be able to eliminate the tunnel threat '100 per cent.'
Soon after the ceasefire went into force, Gaza's residents took advantage of the truce to return to their homes, many of which had been destroyed in the fighting. Some arrived on tuk-tuks - three-wheeled taxis - by car or on foot to retrieve their belongings.
Near a main road in in the heavily bombarded Gaza district of Shijaiyah, less than a mile from the Israeli border, residents surveyed extensive damage.
Basem Abul Qumbus returned to find his three-story home - in which he had invested tens of thousands of dollars - uninhabitable.more videos
Onslaught: Israeli soldiers stand on an armoured personnel carrier outside the Gaza Strip as they fire mortar shell towards Gaza before the ceasefire was due to begin
GAZA 'DISASTER ZONE' AFTER WATER SUPPLIES CUT
Tank shells had punched a hole in the ceiling of one bedroom and a wall had collapsed into the kitchen.
'The work of all those years is gone,' he said, as he struggled to salvage flour from bags that had been torn apart by shrapnel. Food supplies are running short in the blockaded coastal territory in the war's fourth week.
Egypt issued a statement early Friday calling on the Western-backed Palestinian Authority and Israel to send negotiation teams to Cairo to discuss 'all issues of concern to each party within the framework of the Egyptian initiative.'
Egypt had put forth a cease-fire proposal a week after fighting began last month. Israel accepted the proposal, but Hamas, which deeply mistrusts Egypt following last summer's overthrow of an Islamist government in Cairo, rejected it.
Hamas has demanded the lifting of an Israeli and Egyptian border blockade imposed on Gaza in 2007 when the Islamic militant group seized power, as well as the release of Palestinians rounded up in the West Bank in June following the killing of three Israeli teenagers.
In recent weeks Turkey and Qatar, which have warmer ties to Hamas but are at odds with Egypt, have tried to help broker a cease-fire agreement, with no results.
It's not clear whether other nations will attend the Egypt talks, and aides to Kerry said Egypt will ultimately decide who will participate. A Hamas official in Qatar said Hamas and Islamic Jihad officials would be participating. Israel will not meet directly with members of either group because it considers them terrorist organizations.
Hours before the cease-fire was to take effect, 17 Palestinians were killed in Israeli strikes, including 10 from the same family, according to al-Kidra, the Health Ministry official in Gaza. He said the family members were killed in an airstrike on their home in the southern Gaza town of Khan Younis.
Fleeting peace: Gaza City seen shortly before the start of a 72-hour ceasefire agreed between Israel and Hamas to allow for bodies to be recovered and funerals held
Israel's military said five of its soldiers were killed along the Gaza border Thursday evening by a mortar round.
At least 1,496 Palestinians, mainly civilians, have been killed since hostilities began July 8, according to Palestinian officials. Israel says 61 of its soldiers and three civilians in Israel have been killed.
Hours ahead of the cease-fire, Gaza police reported heavy Israeli tank shelling in northern and eastern Gaza, and the loud exchange of fire with militants could be heard across Gaza City.
Tank shells slammed into the city itself, setting homes and shops ablaze.
Hamas fighters hit an Israeli tank with an anti-tank missile, Gaza police said. The militants then attacked Israeli troops who came to evacuate the tank crew. Clashes continued into the early morning hours, police said.
The Israeli military said it was looking into the matter.
Israeli police meanwhile warned residents to stay away from Israeli communities near the Gaza border during the cease-fire, saying the area remains 'a war zone.'
'We ask the public to heed the orders of the police and army and not to go to the Gaza Strip border area, it is a threat to your life!!!' the police said in a statement.
Police said Palestinians clashed with Israeli security forces in a number of neighborhoods in east Jerusalem, and that Israelis attacked an empty bus.
Police also restricted the entry of worshippers to a key Muslim holy site in the city to prevent disturbances.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2712656/Israel-Hamas-agree-72-hour-humanitarian-ceasefire-starting-morning.html#ixzz399nO4lK2
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