The Israeli army said missing Israeli soldier 2nd Lt. Hadar Goldin, who had been feared captured by Hamas militants in Gaza died in action in the Gaza Strip. “A special committee led by the [army's] chief rabbi announced the death of the ... infantry officer of the Givati Brigade, Lt. Hadar Goldin, who was killed in battle in the Gaza Strip on Friday, Aug., 1, 2014,” the army announcement, which was made Sunday morning, Israeli time, said.

Previous reports suggested Goldin, 23, may have been kidnapped by members of Al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas' military wing, operating in the Rafah area. CNN reported Goldin’s whereabouts were unclear after the militant group made an announcement on its website assuming all fighters in the area died following an Israeli airstrike, including an Israeli soldier. The group claimed not to have any knowledge on Goldin but assumed “he was captured by the fighters.”

While Goldin’s fate was unknown, reports the Israeli army was beginning to withdraw from Gaza without Hadar shocked Goldin’s family. The Jerusalem Post reported Hadar’s father, Simcha Goldin, was in disbelief that the military would leave his son behind. “I served in the reserves until I was 50 and was a battalion commander, and it’s unthinkable to me that the IDF would abandon one of its fighters,” Simicha Goldin said.

In a press conference, Hadar Goldin’s brother, Chemi, who is also an IDF officer called his sibling a “beautiful child” who was due to be married soon.