Oron Shaul's parents
Oron Shaul's parentsEliran Aharon

Herzl Shaul, the father of soldier Oron Shaul who was killed in Gaza during Operation Protective Edge and whose body is held by Hamas in Gaza, passed away on Friday.

Ten months ago, the father was diagnosed with cancer in the small intestine. Since then, he was admitted to hospital and treated intermittently at both the Poriya Hospital in Tiberias and the Rambam Hospital in Haifa. His condition did not improve, and the cancer spread to his liver and abdomen.

Herzl had lost 25 kilograms and was hospitalized this past week at the Tel Hashomer Hospital. His wife, Zehava, moved to a hotel near the hospital, paid for by the Defense Ministry, in order to be at her husband's side most of the day.

Oron Shaul’s armored personnel carrier (APC) was hit by Hamas terrorists on July 20, 2014, during Operation Protective Edge. In addition to Oron, there were six other soldiers inside the carrier.

Initially he was declared missing, but the IDF authorities determined that Oron is no longer alive, and his family sat shiva after he was declared a soldier whose burial place is unknown.

Later the family insisted that the IDF change the designation, and Oron is now considered missing in action.