An Israeli soldier has also gone missing amid the ferocious fighting in the Gaza strip and claims by Hamas that they kidnapped an infantryman.
The possibility of a hostage soldier came as it also emerged a 38 year-old Israeli Lieutenant Colonel is among the 29 Israelis killed in the fighting.
Chillingly Israel accused Hamas of “trafficking in human remains” after declaring there was no possibility of 21 year-old missing soldier Oron Shaul surviving the missile strike that killed six of his comrades.
Shaul disappeared after a seven man armoured vehicle was struck on Sunday by a missile and just six bodies were recovered.
Abu Ubaida, spokesman of the Hamas’s armed wing, said the missing soldier – who they named Shaul Aron- was seized in heavy fighting on the Gaza border on Sunday.
He displayed a photo ID and army serial number of the man, but showed no image of him in their hands.
Shaul’s cousin, Racheli Gazit, told reporters that the army had informed the family that its examination of the wrecked vehicle had not turned up any remains of her relative.
She added: “As far as the family is concerned, as long as there are no conclusive findings, Oron is not dead.”
One Israeli official, involved in the investigation, suggested that Hamas might have the remains of the soldier.
“Everything in our analysis points to the soldier not having survived the incident. As far as we are concerned Hamas is trafficking in human remains,” said the official.
In another battle Lieutenant Colonel Dolev Keidar, Commander of the “Geffen” attalion, was killed by an anti-tank missile fired at him and his men over the weekend.
The Hamas rocket squad was immediately killed by Keidar’s men who returned fire.
Israel pounded targets across the Gaza Strip saying no ceasefire was near as top U.S. and U.N. diplomats pursued talks on halting fighting.U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry held talks in neighbouring Egypt, while U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon was due to arrive in Israel later in the day.Yesterday plumes of black smoke spiralled into the sky above Gaza.
Hamas and its allied group Palestinian Islamic Jihad responded by firing more rockets into Israel, triggering sirens in Tel Aviv.
One hit a town on the fringes of Ben-Gurion International Airport, lightly injuring two people, officials said.
And the Israeli Defence Force has revealed chilling footage of a Hamas suicide bomber in full IDF uniform blowing himself up near them.
Israeli Justice Minister Tzipi Livni said: “A ceasefire is not near. I see no light at the end of the tunnel.”
Investigations continue into the location of the missing soldier and the Israeli military believes it was impossible for anyone to have survived the direct hit on the army vehicle.
The US Federal Aviation Administraion has banned US airlines from flying to or from Israel for 24 hours after a Hamas rocket exploded near to the country’s main airport.
The FAA said in a statement that the ban on flights is for 24 hours beginning at 12.15 EST today.
The notice only applies to US airlines as the FAA has no authority over other nations' airlines. The FAA said it will monitor the situation and update instructions ‘as soon as conditions permit, but no later than 24 hours’ from the time of the ban.