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Israeli soldier missing as Gaza fighting rages on

JERUSALEM (AP) — An Israeli soldier is missing following a deadly battle in the Gaza Strip, a defense official said Tuesday, as Israeli airstrikes pummeled a wide range of targets along the coastal area. Diplomatic efforts intensified to end the two week war that has killed more than 600 Palestinians and 29 Israelis.

It was not immediately known if the missing soldier was alive or dead, the Israeli defense official told The Associated Press. The disappearance raised the possibility that he had been captured by Hamas — a nightmare scenario for Israel. In the past, Israel has paid a heavy price in lopsided prisoner swaps to retrieve captured soldiers or remains held by its enemies.

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