THE PARENTS and twin brother of IDF Lt. Hadar Goldin announce their intent to petition the High Court of Justice to force the government to do more to get Hamas to release the remains of their son. (Flash90).
(photo credit: FLASH90)
A petition by Hadar Goldin’s family to the High Court of Justice has led the state to take a tougher stance regarding requests by Hamas operatives and their relatives to enter Israel for medical needs.
The major policy change, announced by the state in a legal brief filed with the High Court on Monday, means a blanket prohibition on Hamas operatives and their relatives entering Israel for medical treatment other than in immediate life-threatening situations.
Goldin, an IDF soldier, was killed during the 2014 fighting in the Gaza Strip, after which Hamas took his remains. His family has been pressing the government to force Hamas to return his remains, including a petition to the High Court to demand that the state comply with its own decisions committing it to take action.
Monday’s decision means the state is penalizing Hamas regarding certain humanitarian issues until it honors the generally accepted obligation of returning an enemy soldier’s remains.
The state’s legal brief said that for some time, the cabinet has wanted to restrict certain humanitarian measures for Hamas, but the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) has lacked sufficient information. However, according to the brief, security agencies have now provided COGAT with a comprehensive list of who was a Hamas member or a relative of a Hamas member, and COGAT was now using this information to block them from entering Israel for medical needs.
Further, the brief said that newly minted National Security Council chief Meir Ben Shabbat recently ordered COGAT to implement the new restrictions in accordance with prior cabinet decisions.
Besides announcing the major policy change, which the state probably hopes will also reduce public criticism of its failure to have Goldin’s remains returned, the state said the petition should be dismissed as the High Court should not intervene in such complex national security issues.
The Goldin family declared a partial victory, saying its petition led the state to take tougher action with Hamas. However, it also said that the state’s change “is a small step in the greater mission to have Hadar, who was an Israeli hero who fell during Operation Protective Edge, returned” for burial.
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