Late Saturday night, the Goldin family of Kfar Saba received the sad news that a special IDF committee had concluded their son, 2nd Lt. Hadar Goldin, had fallen in combat the day before.
The 23 year old Givati platoon commander was killed in battle during the attack carried out by Hamas during a cease fire forced on Israel by the United States and the United Nations on Friday, August 1. The family was told there were enough pathological findings at the scene to declare their son’s death.
All Jewish laws, religious observances and medical criteria were taken into account prior to the ruling by a special committee headed by IDF Chief Rabbi Rafi Peretz, the IDF said in a statement to media.
A spokesperson for the family told media after the IDF announcement to thank the people of Israel for their support and to ask everyone to attend their son’s funeral “to accompany him on his final journey.”
Details are to be announced.
Goldin died in Rafah when a Hamas suicide bomber emerged from a tunnel near the Givati force and detonated himself as a diversion. Additional terrorists then attacked Goldin’s force, killing two soldiers – Major Benaya Sarel and Staff Sergeant Liel Gidoni.
The terrorists then dragged Goldin into a tunnel and later claimed he was alive.
But on Saturday a spokesman from the Izz a-Din al-Qassam military wing of Hamas said the group had lost contact with the terror cell that had been sent to ambush the platoon. He said they believed they were dead, and probably Goldin as well.
As soon as Goldin was dragged into the tunnel, other members of his platoon raced in after him to try and prevent the abduction, but they were too late.
During that search, the unit found Goldin’s personal effects during the initial search, 20 meters underground.
Their next move was to prevent the terrorists from taking Goldin farther away; they began firing in all directions and destroyed targets in as many areas as possible, including buildings, vehicles and sending smoke down the tunnel in order to kill the terrorists who had taken their commander. It is probable that Goldin also died in that effort but highly unusual for Hamas to admit that as well.
It is not clear why, in fact, the terror group is, in fact, not claiming they have a live captive – or any captive at all.
The soldier’s family was notified in person by Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon, along with the head of the IDF Personnel Directorate, Maj.-Gen. Orna Barbivai and Chief Military Rabbi Peretz.
“The IDF will continue to support the family, and escort them through the grieving period,” the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit said in its statement.
Hundreds of Israelis were gathered outside the Goldin home earlier in the evening to show their support for the family. The parents of the three Israeli teens who were kidnapped and murdered by Hamas terrorists in Gush Etzion in June, (Eyal Yifrach, Naftali Frenkel and Gilad Sha’ar) also came to visit with the family and show their support. “We’re with them during this difficult time,” Avraham Frenkel, father of Naftali Frenkel, said.