Israel's UN ambassador denied on Sunday that an Israeli soldier had been abducted by Hamas terrorists in the course of the fighting at the Shejaiya neighborhood.
"There is no kidnapped Israeli soldier and those rumors are untrue," said Ambassador Ron Prosor when asked about the kidnapping.
The armed wing of the Palestinian Hamas group claimed late Sunday that it had kidnapped an Israeli soldier, prompting celebrations in the streets of Gaza City.
"The Israeli soldier Shaul Aaron is in the hands of the Qassam Brigades," a spokesman using the nom-de-guerre Abu Obeida said in a televised address. He provided the supposed soldier's name and ID. "He is a prisoner, and if Zionists lie about the dead and wounded, then the fate of this soldier is their responsibility," the spokesman said.
The Facebook page of Oron Shaul, a Golani soldier, has been defaced overnight with Arabic messages claiming he has been taken hostage.
There have been celebrations in the Arab neighborhoods in and around Jerusalem overnight following news of the soldier's capture.
Celebrations in Shuafat, Jerusalem
Celebrations in Kalandia, north of Jerusalem
Celebrations in Hevron
Rioting at Damascus Gate, Jerusalem
Celebrations at Isawiya, Jerusalem
Celebrations at Ras El Amoud, Jerusalem