The parents of fallen soldier Hadar Goldin have asked the media to stop quoting politicians anonymously when it comes to the status of their son’s body, which has been held by Hamas for four years.Leah and Simha Goldin wrote on Monday: “In recent months, the Israeli media has published articles and analyses that contradict the family’s stance.“As a family, we have no problem dealing with the complaints and criticism about us directly,” they added, “but in most cases, these are briefings by cabinet ministers or other diplomatic sources who hide and do not come out in the open.”The family asked that the media “stop cooperating with anonymous briefings” and “demand the anonymous briefers remove the mask on their faces, get out of the bunker and stand before us openly and directly.”The letter was sent to Yaakov Katz, editor-in-chief of The Jerusalem Post; other Israeli news sites reported receiving the same message.During a press conference on Sunday, Leah Goldin said that cabinet ministers “who see themselves as the next defense minister... accused us of drawing Israel into war.
“You should be ashamed of yourselves. How low can you stoop?” she asked.The Goldin family and the family of Oron Shaul, whose body is also being held in Gaza, led a series of protests in Jerusalem calling for the government not to reach any agreement with Hamas without returning the captives. In addition to the bodies of their sons, who were soldiers who fought during Operation Protective Edge, Hamas is holding three living Israeli civilians captive: Avera Mengistu, Hisham al-Sayed and Jumaa Abu-Ghanima.The families said there is a total disconnect between them and the Prime Minister’s Office; Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu canceled a meeting with them last week.Zehava Shaul, Oron’s mother, spoke of a tense meeting with Netanyahu two years ago, in which he “yelled at us that we were liars... He banged on the table and said ‘this is not how you speak to a Prime Minister.’”The Prime Minister’s Office denied the allegation, saying that Netanyahu “never shouted at bereaved families and did not level accusations against them.”“The prime minister will continue to make every effort until the sons return home,” the office said.
Families of fallen soldiers demonstrate in front of Prime Minister Netanyahu"s office, asking not to forgo sons in Gaza deal, August 5, 2018 (Tovah Lazaroff)