Hamas tried on Sunday tried to deny that it was behind the kidnapping and murder of IDF officer Hadar Goldin. Hamas spokesperson Sami Abu-Zuhri said that “Israel fooled the world when it said that th soldier was kidnapped. It used the opportunity to violate the cease-fire and conduct a massacre in Rafah.”
With the statement. Abu-Zuhri contradicted comments Friday by another Hamas spokesperson, Mousa Abu-Marzouk, who said that Hamas had indeed captured the soldier and was holding him hostage. Speaking to Hamas TV, Abu-Marzouk named the soldier as Goldin hours before Israel officially acknowledged he was missing, and announced his name.
The claim that Israel violated the cease-fire was also contradicted by international reporters on the scene in Gaza. Reporters on international news channels, including Fox and CNN, said that Gaza had been relatively quiet after 8 a.m., when the cease-fire was to go into effect, and 9:30, when the IDF said Goldin had been taken captive. It was then, the reporters said, that the IDF began its heavy shelling in Gaza, in response to the kidnapping of Goldin.
Nevertheless, Abu-Zuhri called on UN chief Ban ki-Moon and the international community to condemn Israel “for its savage butchery and lying to the international community by breaking the cease-fire.”
The IDF Chief Rabbinate declared Goldin killed in action Saturday night, based on evidence found in a Hamas terror tunnel. The soldier's funeral is set to take place in Kfar Sava Sunday afternoon.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, spoke Sunday with Simcha and Leah Goldin, the parents of Lt. Hadar Goldin.