Palestinians Celebrate Hamas Claim of IDF Soldier's Capture

Gunshots and fireworks in Gaza City, Bethlehem, elsewhere; IDF says chances are slim the claim is true.

Palestinians celebrate
Palestinians celebrate in Rafah after the Hamas claim that a soldier had been captured. AFP

Palestinians in Gaza City, Bethlehem and other cities celebrated with gunshots and fireworks Sunday night after a broadcast announcement by Hamas that it had captured an Israeli soldier.

The Palestinian Ma'an news agency reported that a spokesman for Hamas' armed wing, Izz al-Din al-Qassam, made the announcement on Ma'an News.

IDF sources said the Hamas claim sounded dubious and the chances that Hamas was holding an IDF soldier were slim.

Abu Ubaida, spokesman for Izz al-Din al-Qassam, referred to the IDF response to the announcement, saying, "The fact that they did not announce [the soldier's alleged capture] shows that they were trying to hide their losses."

He warned Israel against "any kind of foolishness" in response to the alleged capture.