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A new front has opened in the Mideast conflict after the abduction of an Israeli soldier says Israeli army spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel ...
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A new front has opened in the Mideast conflict after the abduction of an Israeli soldier says Israeli army spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Peter Lerner. (SOUNDBITE)(English) ISRAELI ARMY SPOKESPERSON, LIEUTENANT-COLONEL PETER LERNER, SAYING: "A half after the ceasefire was in place, the humanitarian ceasefire, two terrorists came out of a tunnel. One of them detonated himself in a suicide bombing attack, killing two soldiers. Another one came out, shooting with an automatic weapon and in the aftermath of that we noticed that we had an officer that had been abducted into the tunnel. Indeed we began to pursue this attack, we went to the tunnel. Unfortunately we haven't been able to locate him up to now." A 72-hour ceasefire was the most ambitious attempt so far to end more than three weeks of fighting. (SOUNDBITE)(English) ISRAELI ARMY SPOKESPERSON, LIEUTENANT-COLONEL PETER LERNER, SAYING: "The situation on the ground is much more complex now. Until this morning we had two main goals in this mission, to deal with the tunnels and to address the rocket threat. Now we have a third component of our mission and we have to bring him home." The army is operating under the assumption that the soldier, Hadar Goldin, is still alive. His father is conflident he will come home. (SOUNDBITE) (Hebrew) FATHER OF MISSING ISRAELI SOLDIER, SIMCHA GOLDIN, SAYING: "We want to support the Israeli army and the state of Israel in its fight against Hamas in Gaza and we are certain that the army will not stop under any circumstance, and will not leave any stone unturned in the Gaza Strip and will bring Hadar back home safe and sound." Gaza officials say more than 1,500 Palestinians, mostly civilians, have died in the conflict. Sixty-three Israeli soldiers have been killed and three civilians have been killed by Palestinian rockets in Israel.