SIMCHA AND LEAH GOLDIN speak to the press at their home in Kfar Saba..
(photo credit: AVSHALOM SASSONI/ MAARIV)
IDF Lieutenant Hadar Goldin’s family announced on Sunday that they plan to file a petition with the High Court of Justice to compel the government to enforce its decisions regarding obtaining their son’s body and the retrieval of other living and dead Israelis from Hamas.
Goldin and IDF soldier Oron Shaul were both killed and their bodies were both taken by Hamas during the 2014 Gaza war.
In January 2017, the cabinet made a decision to try to move forward with measures designed to get Hamas to return the bodies as well as to return two Israeli civilians captured by Hamas.
However, the family has been critical of the government for not taking any real action, while Hamas has said that Israel has not come with serious offers to the table, such as volunteering to free large numbers of Palestinian prisoners in exchange for Goldin and Shaul’s bodies. After releasing over 1,000 Palestinians as part of the 2011 Gilad Schalit prisoner exchange, Israel has soured on the idea of such asymmetric exchanges.
But Goldin’s father, Simcha, told the press conference that “The security cabinet decided on a range of clear moves to exercise effective pressure - pressure which would cause Hamas to understand that holding onto IDF soldiers' [bodies] is not an asset, but a burden.”
He continued, “Pressure which will send a message to [Hamas Gaza chief] Yahya al-Sinwar that Israel has changed the rules and will collect a heavy price for every day that Hamas is holding Israeli soldiers.”
“Netanyahu and the government are not doing all they can and are not using all of the abilities of the state in order to return Lieutenant Hadar Goldin,” he said.
The Goldin family has pressed the government to refuse to return Hamas members' bodies until Israeli bodies are returned.
For example, they protested when Israel returned the bodies of Hamas terrorists who carried out an attack on the Temple Mount
, and they have urged Israel not to allow the collection of the bodies of Palestinian fighters who were killed when Israel blew up a Gaza attack tunnel last week
They have also called on the state to limit visits to Hamas members in Israeli prisons and to even limit humanitarian aid to Gaza.
The Goldins said that they have partially held off until now because the government has tried to scare them into submission.
In fact, they said that the state has told them that if Israel puts too much pressure on Hamas, and Hamas responds with rocket fire, that harm to Israeli victims from the rocket fire would be on their heads.