Netanyahu 'committed' to returning Israeli captives from Gaza

October 8, 2017 22:15

There are currently two bodies and two live captives being held in Gaza.

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Goldin Shaul soldiers

Lt. Hadar Goldin (left) and St.-Sgt. Oron Shaul were killed in action in the war against Hamas in 2014. (photo credit:Courtesy)

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is committed to returning the Israeli captives in Gaza, government officials said on Sunday.

The officials spoke anonymously after media outlets reported that the families of soldiers Hadar Goldin and Oron Shaul were angry that Netanyahu has not yet appointed a POW and MIA coordinator to replace Col. (res) Lior Lotan, who resigned in August.

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Lotan had been responsible for working behind the scenes to retrieve from Gaza the bodies of the two soldiers, presumed to have been killed in the 2014 war.

Separately, two Israelis, Avera Mengistu and Hisham al-Sayed – the latter of whom is believed to be suffering from mental illness – are believed to be held in Gaza after being caught when they wandered across the border.

The Goldin and Shaul families have threatened to turn to the High Court of Justice if Netanyahu does not replace Lotan.

Israeli officials said Netanyahu is now interviewing candidates for that job. Netanyahu met with the Shaul and Goldin families 10 days ago.

The prime minister has raised the issue of the missing Israelis at every relevant diplomatic meeting, including during conversations he had in New York last month with US President Donald Trump and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.

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