Naftali Bennett vows to bring back the fallen IDF soldiers held by Hamas

"As long as I am on duty, I will not rest until everyone is brought back to Israel for burial"

Defence Minister Naftali Bennett speaking at the annual memorial ceremony for soldiers whose burial place is unknown (photo credit: MINISTRY OF DEFENSE SPOKESPERSON'S OFFICE)
Defence Minister Naftali Bennett speaking at the annual memorial ceremony for soldiers whose burial place is unknown
(photo credit: MINISTRY OF DEFENSE SPOKESPERSON'S OFFICE)
Defense Minister Naftali Bennett vowed on Tuesday to bring back the bodies of fallen soldiers and citizens held by Hamas in the Gaza Strip.
“As defense minister, I am committed to doing everything possible to bring Hadar Goldin, of blessed memory, and Oron Shaul, of blessed memory, to burial in Israel,” Bennett said at the annual memorial ceremony for soldiers whose burial place is unknown. “As long as I am on duty, I will not rest until everyone is brought back to Israel for burial. It’s my duty, ours, to them.”
Hamas has held the remains of Lt. Hadar Goldin and St.-Sgt. Oron Shaul since Operation Protective Edge in 2014, and is keeping Israeli citizens Avera Mengistu and Hisham al-Sayed captive.
Noting that Israel has been through a challenging year and a half, both politically and militarily, Bennett said “our enemies might interpret the bumps in Israel’s democracy as a weakness and try to challenge us on our northern border and border with Gaza, but the IDF will continue to hurt those who try to hurt us.”
Speaking Tuesday at the ceremony held on Mount Herzl in the presence of President Reuven Rivlin and Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein, Bennett doubled down on his promise, telling the crowd that “we are working creatively and resolutely against a cruel enemy, with tools that are not always photographed best, but we will press the enemy at all costs to respond.”
Defence Minister Naftali Bennett speaking at the annual memorial ceremony for soldiers whose burial place is unknown (Credit: MINISTRY OF DEFENSE SPOKESTEAM)Defence Minister Naftali Bennett speaking at the annual memorial ceremony for soldiers whose burial place is unknown (Credit: MINISTRY OF DEFENSE SPOKESTEAM)
Last week Palestinian Islamic Jihad fired close to 100 rockets and mortar shells toward southern communities after an IDF bulldozer was filmed preventing Palestinians from recovering the body of a terrorist who was killed planting an explosive device along the Gaza border fence.
In response to criticism of how the IDF took the body, Bennett said his goal was for Israel not to release terrorists until the bodies of the fallen soldiers are returned to Israel.
The parents of Goldin have also called on the military to hold onto the bodies of the Palestinians killed while attempting to infiltrate Israel until the bodies of the two fallen soldiers are released by Hamas.