Kidnapped soldier Gilad Shalit was injured in one of the Air Force strikes in Gaza, Egyptian television reported Sunday night.
"There are reports that the Israeli soldier held by Hamas
was injured in one of the Air Force strikes," the report said, quoting a website affiliated with Hamas.
Defense officials said in response that the report was a foreseen manipulation, and that the Shalit family was asked to prepare for it on the eve of the Israel Defense Forces operation.
The report was later published on other websites, and was also mentioned in one of the Islamic sites.
According to the initial wording, "There are reports that Zionist soldier Gilad Shalit was injured in one of the Air Force strikes in Gaza." There were no details on Shalit's condition or on the source of the report.
Sources in Hamas told several media outlets on Sunday that Shalit had been injured, but refused to elaborate on the circumstances of the incident.
Senior members of the Popular Resistance Committees and Hamas' military wing, who took part in Shalit's abduction, refused to confirm this information. Sources in Hamas told Ynet that the rumor began spreading in the evening hours, and that it may be part of psychological warfare.
Sources in the Strip estimated recently that at a certain stage of the Israeli offensive Hamas would report that Shalit had been injured, although the estimations referred to a later stage in the attack.
Gilad Shalit was kidnapped
into the Gaza Strip 918 days ago.
Roee Nahmias contributed to this report