Israeli gov't can't bring Hadar back - Tzur Goldin at march to Gaza

“No one in this government intends to bring my brother home,” said Tzur. “We the public will bring them home.”

March to the Gaza Strip in protest of the capture of four Israeli citizens by Hamas.  (photo credit: HADAR SHELI)
March to the Gaza Strip in protest of the capture of four Israeli citizens by Hamas.
(photo credit: HADAR SHELI)

The Israeli public must force the government to secure the release of the four Gaza captives, said Tzur Goldin at the start of a three-day march to highlight their plight, including that of his twin brother, Hadar.

“No one in this government intends to bring my brother home,” said Tzur. “We the public will bring them home.”

“No one in this government intends to bring my brother home. We the public will bring them home.”

Tzur Goldin

Tzur set out on Wednesday morning from the family’s Kfar Saba home with his father, Simha, his mother, Leah, and hundreds of other supporters.

They marched to Rishon Lezion, from where they planned to set out on Thursday with an eye toward reaching the Erez Crossing at the Gaza border on Friday.

 March to the Gaza Strip in protest of the capture of four Israeli citizens by Hamas. (credit: HADAR SHELI) March to the Gaza Strip in protest of the capture of four Israeli citizens by Hamas. (credit: HADAR SHELI)

At issue is the plight of four men: Hadar Goldin, Oron Shaul, Avera Mengistu and Hisham al-Sayad.

Shaul and Goldin, both IDF soldiers, are believed to have been killed during the 2014 Gaza war, and their bodies have been held by Hamas.

The captured boys

Mengistu and Sayad are both Israeli civilians who suffer from psychological illnesses, which led to their wandering into Gaza. Mengistu entered Gaza in 2014, and Hisham in 2015.

In June, Hamas released a video of Hisham alive but lying in bed hooked up to an oxygen mask. Hamas, which forcibly rules Gaza, said that Hisham was ill.

The Goldin family chose to set out now because Hadar was ambushed by Hamas in a Gaza tunnel eight years ago on August 1. He was 23 at the time.

Tzur told the marchers that the “biggest bluff that recent governments tell the public is that there are efforts to return the captives. There are no efforts to return the captives.”

His family, Tzur said, is “not afraid of Hamas. We will reach the Gaza border and broadcast the message that this is one big bluff.”

At issue for the Goldin family, in particular, is Israel’s failure to link the passage of goods into Gaza with the release of the captives.

At the start of the march, Simha recited the prayer for a safe journey, and Leah thanked the participants at the end of the first day of the event.

“We are marching to bring the boys back home,” she said.

Despite her inclusive message, much of the publicity around the march spoke of only Goldin, Shaul and Mengistu. This included T-shirts and flags calling for the return of the boys.

A spokesman for the march said he had no idea why all the publicity material had not included all four of the men.

The Goldin family has been at the forefront of the publicity battle for the return of the men, who are often referred to as “the sons.”

According to a spokesperson for the march, they were the only family members present on the first day, however, representatives from other families are likely to join the march on Thursday and Friday.