An Israeli soldier who was in an armored personnel carrier that was blown up by an anti-tank missile in the Shujaiyya neighborhood of the Gaza Strip on Sunday is missing and is presumed dead.
Six other Golani Brigade soldiers who were riding in the same vehicle were killed and have been identified as Sgt. Max Steinberg, 24, from Beersheba (a recent immigrant originally from Los Angeles); Staff Sgt. Shahar Taase, 20, from Pardesiya; Staff Sgt. Daniel Pomerantz, 20, from Kfar Azar; Sgt. Shon Mondshine, 19, from Tel Aviv; Sgt. Ben Oanunu, 19, from Ashdod; and Staff Sgt. Erez Noach, 22, from Hoshaya.
"At this time, the remains of six of the seven soldiers involved in the incident have been identified," the Israel Defense Forces said in a statement. "Given the complexity of the incident, the identification efforts concerning the seventh soldier are ongoing. The IDF is in constant contact with the families of all seven soldiers."
On Tuesday afternoon, the IDF published the name of the missing soldier -- Oron Shaul, 21 from Poria.
The IDF believes there is little chance Shaul survived the attack. Hamas has claimed it abducted Shaul, but there has been no verification of this claim. IDF officials think the most Hamas might have in its possession are identifying items taken from the scene of the attack.
Nine soldiers were killed between Monday afternoon and Tuesday morning in clashes with terrorists in southern Israel and Gaza Strip, bringing the death toll of Operation Protective Edge to 27. Over 150 soldiers have been wounded since the ground operation in Gaza began Thursday night.
Lt. Col. Dolev Kedar, 38, from Modiin, commander of the Gefen Battalion of the IDF's Bahad 1 officers' training base, was killed Monday when a group of IDF troops thwarted a terrorist infiltration near Kibbutz Nir Am. Three other soldiers were killed in the incident.
Kedar was the highest ranking IDF officer to be killed since ground operation began. He will be laid to rest on Tuesday afternoon at Modiin's military cemetery.
Gefen Battalion Sgt. Nadav Goldmacher, 23, from Beersheba, was laid to rest on Tuesday morning at the Beersheba Military Cemetery.
Gefen Battalion 2nd Lt. Yuval Haiman, 21, from Efrat, was laid to rest at the Mount Herzl Military Cemetery on Tuesday morning.
Chief Warrant Officer Baynesian Kasahun, 39, from Netivot, serving with the Gaza Division's Northern Brigade, will be laid to rest in his hometown on Tuesday afternoon.
Three IDF soldiers were killed in two separate clashes with terrorists in Gaza Strip on Monday.
Golani Brigade Staff Sgt. Yuval Dagan, 22, from Kfar Saba, was laid to rest at the Kfar Saba Military Cemetery on Monday night.
Golani Brigade Staff Sgt. Tal Yifrah, 21, from Rishon Lezion, was laid to rest in his hometown on Tuesday morning.
Details on the funeral of Golani Brigade Staff Sgt. Jordan Ben Simon, 22, from Ashkelon, have yet to be released.
Israeli forces clashed with terrorists in several incidents that took place on Monday night and the early hours of Tuesday morning in Beit Lahiya, Shujaiyya, and Khan Younis, Army Radio reported.
The military confirmed Tuesday that two Nahal Brigade soldiers were killed overnight: Sgt. 1st Class Oded Ben-Sira, 21, from Nir Etzion, and Master Sgt. Ohad Shemesh, 27, from Beit Elazari.
Day 14 of Operation Protective Edge saw the military destroy over 100 terror targets. According to Army Radio, since the ground incursion into Gaza Strip was launched the military has discovered 23 terror tunnels and over 60 shafts that had been dug along the border.
Some 180 terrorists have been killed since Operation Protective Edge was launched on July 7, the report said.
Tunnel terror attack foiled
Israeli communities near the Gaza border were placed under lockdown twice on Monday, following alerts suggesting a possible terrorist infiltration in the area. Security forces blocked dozens of roads in southern Israel and instructed residents to remain inside as they canvassed the area.
The IDF was able to thwart a terror attack near Kibbutz Nir Am, which is adjacent to the Gaza border. The incident, described by military officials as one of the most severe in the fighting so far, saw 10 terrorists infiltrate Israel through a terror tunnel dug under the border fence.
According to available detailed, the incident took place around 6 a.m. Monday, when 10 terrorists infiltrated Israel using a tunnel believed to have been dug from the northern Gaza Strip town of Beit Hanoun. Military sources said the underground passage stretched about 270 yards into Israel's territory, emerging on the outskirts of Nir Am, and that the terrorists sported full IDF gear, clearly meaning to blend in with Israeli troops deployed in the area.
According to military sources, intelligence obtained by the Shin Bet security agency warned of an imminent terror attack in the area and the IDF bolstered its deployment accordingly. IDF spotters alerted the troops on the ground to the cell's presence, but the Israeli Air Force refrained from launching an airstrike so not to place Israeli soldiers in harm's way.
Ground forces, led by the Gefen Battalion, scrambled to the area. The terrorists then spotted two military vehicles, rose from the bushes and opened fire at the soldiers, launching an anti-tank missile at the vehicles.
The lead vehicle, carrying Kedar, Goldmacher, Haiman and Kasahun, sustained a direct hit. The four were killed immediately.
Once the soldiers realized the terrorists were disguised as Israeli troops and confirmed their location, the IAF was ordered to launch an airstrike, foiling their attempted escape through the nearby tunnel. One terrorist was able to escape, but the IDF was able to retrieved nine terrorists' bodies from the scene.
'There's no such thing as full protection'
The IDF revealed Tuesday that the commander of the Egoz Reconnaissance Unit sustained serious injuries in a clash with terrorists in Gaza Strip on Monday. He was airlifted to the Soroka Medical Center in Beersheba, where he remains in serious condition.
Meanwhile, the military released the preliminary inquest report on the Sunday incident in Shujaiyya in which the Golani Brigade soldiers were killed in the APC.
The inquest found that one of the M-113 "Cheetah" APCs that entered the area as part of a military convoy stalled and required a second APC to extract it. Two soldiers left the vehicles to facilitate the extraction, when the troops came under RPG fire.
The use of M-113 APCs has been criticized in the past, as they are considered too outdated for deployment in Gaza.
GOC Southern Command Maj. Gen. Sami Turgeman commented on the inquest report saying, "There's no such thing as full protection for every measure deployed in Gaza. We use the necessary discretion when deploying the troops."