It took Second Lt. Hadar Goldin’s comrades a few minutes to discover that he was missing after a burst of gunfire on the outskirts of Rafah, in southern Gaza, pierced a painstakingly negotiated truce that was barely an hour old.
The small Israeli force that rushed to the scene apparently soon realized that the body lying on the ground, alongside two dead Israeli soldiers, was that of a Hamas militant. The Israelis had been ambushed, and Lieutenant Goldin, 23, had been dragged down into a tunnel from which the militants had emerged.
The capture of Lieutenant Goldin set off one of the deadliest and most disputed episodes of last summer’s 50-day war in the Gaza Strip. The events of Aug. 1, 2014, now called Black Friday by many, are still reverberating and remain the focus of international scrutiny a year later.
At least 135 Palestinians were said to have been killed, mostly in the first hours after Lieutenant Goldin was abducted, as Israeli forces unleashed a barrage of artillery and airstrikes meant to prevent the militants from escaping with him deeper into the Palestinian coastal territory.