Almost four years on, parents demand that Hamas return remains of slain soldiers

The family condemns Israeli government failure to secure body, calling on Arab states to aid in pressuring Hamas

Leah Goldin, the mother of slain IDF soldier Lt. Hadar Goldin (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
Leah Goldin, the mother of slain IDF soldier Lt. Hadar Goldin
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
Nearly four years after their son was killed in Operation Protective Edge during a cease-fire, the parents of IDF Lt. Hadar Goldin on Wednesday continued to demand his and St.-Sgt. Oron Shaul’s remains be returned to Israel by Hamas.
Aided by Irwin Cotler, Canada’s former justice minister and a professor of international law, the Goldins beseeched the prime minister and the international community to demand the return of Goldin’s and Shaul’s corpses.
“If the State of Israel would have put Oron and Hadar in the proper place on the list of priorities, then we would not have to be here,” Goldin’s mother, Dr. Leah Goldin, said at an afternoon press conference in Ramat Gan.
“Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is a very influential figure in the international arena... and the State of Israel is strong and we enjoy full American support. Therefore, I allow myself to say: ‘Mr. Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, you will begin to work for the return of our sons the same way you would if Hadar or Oron were your sons.’”
Noting Canada’s condemnation of Hamas’s ongoing violations of international law, Cotler called on the leaders of Egypt and Qatar, who have influence over Hamas, to intervene in the protracted matter.
Leah Goldin speaks at the UN Security Council: Humanitarian aspects of missing and captive persons in Gaza (Arria Formula meeting), December 22, 2017. (UN Web TV)
“The international community will exact a price from the Palestinians for keeping Hadar Goldin and Oron Shaul,” he warned.
Goldin’s mother added that the UN Security Council and US government must intervene immediately by galvanizing Arab support.
“Hamas’s holding Hadar and Oron after breaching a cease-fire is a total violation of international law by barbaric terrorists who seek to continue to enjoy humanitarian gestures and to trample on international law and basic human rights,” she continued. “We intend to stop this absurdity.”
Meanwhile, Hadar Goldin’s father, Simha Goldin, said his wife is now leading a campaign via the Security Council to recruit influential Arab states to expedite their son’s return for burial, due to Netanyahu’s neglect.
“Behind the big words that the Israeli government is making to bring back Hadar and Oron, there is a grim reality that this government is doing nothing to bring our sons back,” he said. “Every day, Netanyahu and the ministers break our hearts.”