JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Hadar Goldin, an Israeli soldier feared abducted by Hamas Islamist militants in the Gaza Strip, was determined to have been killed in action during Israel's operation there, an army statement said on Sunday.
"A special committee led by the Israel Defence Forces Chief Rabbi, announced the death of the IDF infantry officer of the Givati Brigade, Lieutenant Hadar Goldin, who was killed in battle in the Gaza Strip on Friday, August 1, 2014," part of the army statement said.
Hamas' armed wing said on Saturday it had no clear indication on the whereabouts of Goldin, 23, and that he may have been killed during an ambush in the southern Gaza Strip in which two other Israeli soldiers were killed.
Israel, which began its campaign in the Gaza Strip on July 8, would continue to fight Hamas even after the army completes its core mission of destroying the cross-border tunnels used by Palestinian militants to attack its territory, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Saturday.
The Gaza death toll given by Palestinian officials rose to 1,675, most of them civilians. Israel has confirmed that 64 soldiers have died in combat, while Palestinian shelling has also killed three civilians in Israel.
(Writing by Ori Lewis; Editing by Peter Cooney)