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Goldin family meet with UN Chief Guterres to demand action regarding sons burial.(Photo by: COURTESY OF FAMILY)
UN chief calls for the release of captive Israeli soldiers held by Hamas
By JERUSALEM POST STAFF
08/25/2019
Leah Goldin: "Enough is enough! For 5 years now, the body of our beloved son Hadar has been cruelly held hostage by Hamas, as we languish, yearning for the simple wish to bury him in Israel."
5 years ago, during a UN-brokered humanitarian cease fire in Gaza, Lt. Hadar Goldin was killed and taken captive by the Hamas terrorist organization. United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres met with his parents Leah and Simha Goldin on Thursday to discuss the release of his body, so he can be buried in Israel.

In the meeting Guterres called for, "the unconditional and immediate return of captive IDF soldiers held by Hamas, and stated that he stands behind UNSC resolution 2474 from June 2019 that defines prisoners and missing persons as a condition and first step to any end of conflict agreement."

He further stated that: "From now on, the United Nations will monitor the issue of prisoners and missing persons in every UN report on Gaza." Guterres said that he will also raise the issue during meetings with relevant heads of state next month at the UN General Assembly and will instruct his Middle East envoy, Nickolay Mladenov to act in light of the resolution.

Leah Goldin, mother of Lt. Hadar Goldin, responded: "This is an unprecedented breakthrough. The practical significance of what Mr. Guterres told us is that from now on, any UN member state including the US, EU, Arab states or other donor nations interested in investing in Gaza must act to bring back Hadar Goldin and Oron Shaul first as part of any end-of-conflict agreement under UNSC resolution 2474.

"We have come to an absurd situation where the UN and the international community are working to bring back Israeli soldiers and civilians more than Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu,"she said. "The whole world is mobilizing for this mission. The United Nations and other governments are offering us ways to bring back our boys, while sadly, international officials we have met with over the past two days have confirmed to us that the Israeli government does not officially place any condition on Hamas for the return of our son."

The Goldin family reiterated to the secretary-general that, "Hadar was killed and taken captive by Hamas, during a UN-brokered humanitarian cease-fire. The UN therefore bears not only a moral responsibility, but legal duty, to do everything possible to demand and facilitate the repatriation of Hadar's body to his family in Israel. For the past five years, the Palestinian Hamas terror group has held Hadar's body hostage, treating it contemptuously as both a bargaining chip and an instrument with which to heartlessly torment our family."

Leah Goldin elaborated: "Holding the bodies of soldiers killed in action and refusing their return to their next of kin for burial is a flagrant and indisputable standing violation of the Geneva Conventions and international humanitarian law, as is wantonly using the soldiers’ bodies as bargaining chips and intentionally withholding information about missing persons.

"Enough is enough! For five years now, the body of our beloved son Hadar has been cruelly held hostage by Hamas, as we languish, yearning for the simple wish to bury him in Israel."

Also present at the meeting with Guterres were former Canadian justice minister Prof. Irwin Cotler and Mr. Ron Lauder, president of the World Jewish Congress.

A member of Hamas's political wing called the statement by Guterres "reprehensible" on Twitter, pointing out that it is "contrary to international conventions that give us the right to resist and defend our people," according to the Palestinian Safa news agency.

He also pointing out "the thousands of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails," in the tweet.


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