Rivlin to officer who tried to save Goldin: Your act of heroism gives us hope

Lt. Eitan tells Goldin family how he chased after Hamas kidnappers in a tunnel in attempt to save son Lt. Hadar Goldin, later declared killed in action.

Lt. Eitan, Presiden Rivlin pay respects to Goldin family (photo credit: GPO)
Lt. Eitan, Presiden Rivlin pay respects to Goldin family
(photo credit: GPO)

Lieutenant Eitan, the Givati officer who attempted to save Lt. Hadar Goldin by entering a terror tunnel and chasing after the terrorists, visited the Goldin family in Kfar Saba Tuesday on his way home from Gaza.

Eitan brought with him personal belongings of Hadar's, including a cell phone, a prayer book, tefillin and a personal notebook, which he turned over to the family, who were visibly moved by the gesture.

Eitan, who shared with the Goldins in detail his version of events, told Channel 2 after the meeting that the Goldins are "a family of heroes."

President Reuven Rivlin was also present at the visit, and commended Lt. Eitan for his brave actions.

"You may take your act of heroism for granted, but it gives us a lot of hope,” the president told Eitan. “Your decision is awe-inspiring. You soldiers are heroes on a personal level, and also on a national and moral level."

Rivlin comforted the family,  telling them that the Givati Brigade serves as "a real home," even for him as a father, as both of his sons serve in the unit.

Lt. Hadar Goldin, 23, was declared killed in action over the weekend, after he was feared to have been kidnapped by Hamas. He died in an attack when terrorists emerged from a tunnel shaft and a suicide bomber detonated himself in the vicinity of soldiers in an incident that killed two other IDF soldiers.