Sec.-Lt. Hadar Goldin..
(photo credit: Courtesy)
The parents of Sec.-Lt. Hadar Goldin, whose body was taken captive by Hamas during the 2014 Operation Protective Edge, called for the United Nations to take responsibility for returning their son’s body to Israel.
“Hadar fell into captivity during a UN-brokered ceasefire.UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon and the UN Security Council bear full responsibility for bringing Hadar back,” Simcha Goldin, Hadar’s father, said at a press conference in Tel Aviv on Tuesday.
“Any international body that fails to support agreements which it is party to loses its moral standing.”
Following the press conference Simcha, and his wife, Leah, flew to New York to bring the issue to the attention of the 71st meeting of the UN General Assembly.
They will meet with top Israeli, Jewish-American, and possibly regional officials, and inaugurate an exhibition of Hadar’s paintings at the UN titled Hadar’s Last Piece.
Leah Goldin said she believes that the UN can pressure Hamas to return her son’s body. “We know the UN can pressure Hamas until the latter can no longer bear the cost of continuing to hold our son’s body.”
The Goldins met with Ban during visit to Israel in June.
They presented him with a letter outlining their expectations of the UN, and asked him to appoint an envoy to Gaza to deal with their son’s case.
At the press conference, the Goldins also called on the government not to provide Hamas and the residents of the Gaza Strip with “free meals” and to use its leverage to bring Hadar’s body back to Israel.
“Israel has to define the price to Hamas for keeping bodies. We have to tell them, ‘no free meals,’” Leah Goldin said. “Israel allowed for the transfer of salaries to Hamas last month. We do not have a problem with that and want them to have normal lives, but Hadar’s body should be returned first. Israel is a key actor in assisting Gaza and can take a number of steps to pressure Hamas.”
She emphasized that such a strategy might bring Hadar’s body home without a prisoner release.
On August 1, 2014 during Operation Protective Edge, members of the Izzadin Kassam Brigades killed Hadar and took his body hostage, according to the IDF. Days later, Goldin’s family held a funeral in Kfar Saba and sat Shiva, the traditional seven-day Jewish mourning period.
The Goldin family launched a campaign in June, calling for Israel and the international community to ensure the return of their son’s body.