Shin Bet security chief Yuval Diskin said Sunday he believes an Israeli soldier who was captured three weeks ago by militants from the Gaza Strip is alive, an official said.

Diskin made the comment during a closed meeting of Cabinet officials in Jerusalem, said one of the officials who attended it.

Israel invaded Gaza on June 28, three days after Hamas-backed militants tunneled under the border and attacked an Israeli army post, killing two soldiers and capturing Cpl. Gilad Shalit, 19.