IDF 2nd Lt. Hadar Goldin, the Israeli soldier who was taken prisoner by Hamas Friday morning, may be dead. Hamas states that they have no idea where he is and have never known where he is.
The group says that they lost contact with the fighters who perpetrated the ambush that captured Goldin, and these fighters have not been heard from since. Hamas believes that all were probably killed in subsequent IDF shelling. Hamas assumes that Goldin was also probably killed in IDF shelling.
The heavy IDF shelling and bombing by planes that occurred after the soldier was seized caused heavy casualties. Palestinian sources reported 20 killed (at least 8 of those militants) and 100 wounded (unknown number, possibly 40 of them, militants).
Not only Hamas but also Islamic Jihad and the PFLP have been involved in that heavy fighting in the area to the east of Rafah.
Goldin was standing in front of a tunnel east of Rafah (exact location unknown as the names of the regions do not make sense) that was being decommissioned Friday morning at either 9:30 AM (Israel) or 7 AM (Hamas). Suddenly fighters popped out of the ground. One was a suicide bomber and the others had guns. The suicide bomber blew up near the troops, apparently killing two of them. A large battle ensued.
In the chaos, Goldin was seized and taken POW by being dragged off into the tunnel. Goldin was apparently alive when seized, but it is not known if he was wounded or not. It was only a short time later when the IDF realized that he was missing.
Goldin studied to the 13th year. This means he is a technician in some unspecified field. His specialty and specific unit is not known, but he served in the Givati Brigade. The Givati Brigade started out as an amphibious unit in 1982 during the Lebanon War, but later they were moved out of that area of combat. Now they have various units, including one specialized for desert warfare that includes many Bedouins and Druze.
A good guess as to his specialty would be a computer specialist, possibly working with in sigintel with the Signals Branch of the brigade. Why was he standing in front of the tunnel. Perhaps it is difficult to communicate for those above ground to communicate with soldiers in the tunnels, so maybe his job to be to man above ground who communicates with units below in the tunnels.
Goldin’s father, Simha, is a Professor of Jewish History at Tel Aviv University, close to his home in Kfar Saba. The father is a commander in the reserves and is also head of the Diaspora Committee at the university. He has authored a book about a famous French Jew, Rabbi Meir of Rothenberg, who lived in the 1200’s.
Goldin’s mother is named Hedva. Both of his parents’ names, Simha and Hedva, mean “happiness” in Hebrew. Both of Goldin’s grandparents were Holocaust survivors. Goldin comes from a strong religious-Zionist background. He attended a religious-military academy near the Eli settlement in the West Bank, where he was noted as an expert Talmudic scholar. He has a twin brother named Tzur, also an officer in the military, with whom he is nearly inseparable.
He and his brother both found themselves at the same officer training school and they both graduated last September. Goldin was interviewed around that time on Arutz Sheva Radio.
On Friday around noon, an IDF soldier wounded by automatic weapons fire in village south of Nablus. Special forces raided village, attacking a home and a shop looking for a suspect.
The IDF has been bombing the Gaza Strip very heavily in the past day. The other day, 40 mosques were destroyed. More mosques were hit today. The IDF claims that Hamas stores rockets in mosques. Today Gaza University was bombed.
In Jerusalem, cop pulled over Palestinian on a motorcycle. The Arab went for cop’s gun. The Arab was wrestled to ground by the cop and Tasered.
Total IDF casualties for Friday were 2 killed, 34 wounded. The IDF has lost 63 soldiers to date in the operation. Total Palestinian losses to date are nearly 1,450 dead and at least 8,500 wounded. Anywhere from 200-500 of the dead are militants, so anywhere from 950-1,250 civilians have been killed.
The Mujahideen Brigades, the armed wing of the Al-Mujahideen Movement in Gaza, fired a SAM-7 MANPAD at an IDF Apache helicopter near Khan Younis. The missile missed the copter. This is the first use I have heard of MANPAD use by the Gazans. The Mujahideen Brigades is a small group, and they are little known.
The Al-Aqsa Martyr’s Brigades, the armed wing of the PLO, carried out a shooting attack on an IDF target south of Jerusalem, no doubt in the West Bank. All fighters returned to their base. There were apparently no IDF casualties.