The IDF said Tuesday that the Palestinians who infiltrated the Gaza border fence on Tuesday were not connected to any organized terror organization.
The terrorists were operating on their own initiative, Channel 13 news quoted the IDF as saying.
Earlier in the day the parents of IDF soldier Lt. Hadar Goldin have called on the military to hold onto the bodies of the three Palestinians killed while attempting to infiltrate into Israel last night until the bodies of their son is released by Hamas.
“Despite the Cabinet decision, and despite the promises of [Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu,[Defense Minister Naftali] Bennett and others, Israel has released the bodies of terrorists in some situations,” the family wrote in a letter to Netanyahu’s military advisor Brig.-Gen. Avi Blot and Brig.-Gen. Ofer Winter.
“We want to remind them that Hamas is still holding Hadar and Oron, along with civilians Abera Mengistu and Hisham al-Sayed,” they wrote.
On Tuesday three armed Palestinians from Gaza were killed by the IDF after they infiltrated some 400 meters into southern Israel near Kibbutz Kissufim and hurled an explosive device at a military force that had been deployed to the scene.
They were identified as16 year-olds Muhammad Hani Abu Mandil, Salem Ana'ami and Mahmoud Said.
The family's appeal to the military secretaries came following fears that due to the young age of the Palestinians, their bodies would be returned to Gaza for burial.
While significant progress has been made towards reaching a long term ceasefire arrangement between Israel and Hamas, a recent IDF intelligence assessment stated that in contrast to Israel, Hamas does not include the return the remains of the IDF soldiers Lt. Hadar Goldin and St.-Sgt. Oron Shaul and the two missing Israeli civilians as part of the arrangement.
On Tuesday, Tzur Goldin, the twin brother of Hadar Goldin, told a crowd at a panel at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem that the state abandoned the soldiers while making deals to allow the export of strawberries from the blockaded coastal enclave.
"There's a gas pipeline that went under the radar last week and was arranged to enter the Strip. Are Hadar or [Avera] Mengistu or other IDF soldiers who were left behind worth less than a gas pipeline or a deal for strawberries? Is the Qatari money which pays the salaries of Hamas officials in Gaza worth more than Hadar and Oron?" Goldin asked at the panel which was also attended by Aviram Saul, the brother of Oron Shaul.
“Freeing terrorists is not the only way to release prisoners and missing persons. In two months, US President Trump is going to introduce his ‘Deal of the Century’. Will the captive soldiers and missing persons be included in the deal? We are in an election campaign and, in my opinion, all the parties should make the issue of the return of the boys a top priority in their campaigns and present a ready alternative,” he said.