The family of IDF Lieutenant Hadar Goldin, who was killed in Operation Protective Edge in 2014 and whose body was then reportedly abducted by Hamas, expressed adamant opposition to a reported demand by Hamas for an exchange of prisoners in return for Goldin’s body.
“The State of Israel had a golden opportunity last week to change the equation and to force Hamas to pay the price and return the bodies of Hadar and Oron in the framework of an agreement with Turkey,” a spokesperson for the the family said.
Goldin’s family for a week have been actively protesting the decision by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his cabinet to move forward on a reconciliation agreement with Turkey.
Goldin’s family, along with the bereaved family members of IDF soldier Oron Shaul who was also killed and whose body was then captured by Hamas in Operation Protective Edge, strongly opposed the reconciliation agreement due to Turkey’s continued relationship with Hamas.
“Unfortunately, instead of pressuring our enemies, incompetence won out and Hamas received a reward for its abductions,” the family continued. “While our soldiers remain captured in Gaza, Hamas prisoners are entitled to the conditions of a hotel and sit and watch the Euro games.”
Goldin’s family said that any future discussion regarding an exchange of prisoners would be a result of Netanyahu’s decision to sign an agreement with Turkey that does not include the demand that Turkey pressure Hamas to return Hadar Goldin, Oron Shaul, and two other Israeli citizens held by Hamas—Avera Mengistu, an Israeli of Ethiopian background, and a Bedouin-Israeli, whose whereabouts remain unknown after crossing into Gaza.
“When the prime minister signs agreements easing conditions on the Gaza Strip and does not require Hamas to pay the price for its criminal actions, he is actually sending a message of weakness and setting the stage for additional demands, including the release of murderers and terrorists,” the family argued.
“It’s time to demand payment from our enemies instead of paying them ourselves and to bring home our sons and soldiers, Hadar and Oron, who remain left behind.”