Israel’s diplomatic-security cabinet ruled Sunday that the bodies of Hamas terrorists will no longer be returned to their families for burial. Instead, the bodies will be buried in a special cemetery for enemy combatants.
Under the new policy, the bodies could be exhumed and handed back for burial if Hamas proves willing to strike deals. The policy change came as a result of a meeting to formulate ways to pressure Hamas to return the dead bodies of two Israeli soldiers and two live citizens being held captive by the terrorist group.
Staff Sgt. Oron Shaul and Lt. Hadar Goldin were killed in Gaza during Operation Protective Edge in 2014. Ethiopian Israeli Avera Mengistu and Bedouin Israeli Hisham al-Sayed, both suffering from mental health issues, crossed into Gaza willingly in 2014 and 2015 and were captured by Hamas.
“For two years and five months, nothing has been done to secure the return of Oron and Hadar. The prime minister is responsible for turning his words into actions,” the Goldin family said in a statement.
The Shaul family issued a similar statement, saying, “As far as we’re concerned nothing has changed, and we’re waiting for the prime minister to show leadership and take action to bring Oron home.”
Israel Hayom/Exclusive to JNS.org