Photo Credit: Ariel Hermony / Ministry of Defense
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman, and IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eizenkot at a security cabinet meeting.

Israel’s Security Cabinet decided Wednesday night there will be no long-term ceasefire agreement with Hamas without the return of the captives being held hostage in Gaza, including the bodies of two fallen IDF soldiers.

But the family of fallen IDF Lt. Hadar Goldin meanwhile petitioned Israel’s High Court of Justice on Wednesday to issue an injunction against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the Security Cabinet.

Advertisement

The petition requests the Court prevent any agreement with Hamas in Gaza until a special committee convenes to discuss the return of their son’s remains and those of his fellow soldier, as well as the return of captives believed to be still alive.

The special ministerial committee on MIAs and POWs established by the government cabinet on June 30, 2016, has allegedly not provided the Goldin family with any updates on their son’s case since November 2016. Nor has it convened or made any decisions since January 2017, the petition alleges.

“The petition does not target one decision or another, but rather the prime minister’s intentional halt to convening a committee meant to discuss and make crucial decisions,” the court document states, according to Ynet. “The Israeli government has turned the committee into an Isra-bluff.”

The Goldin family expressed opposition to the reopening of the Kerem Shalom Crossing with Gaza on Wednesday, asking what Israel had received in return for the hundreds of trucks of food, goods and supplies delivered to Hamas. The fishing perimeter was also extended by nine miles as well — part of an “understanding” allegedly reached that brought both sides back to a deal brokered at the end of the 2014 war, Operation Protective Edge.

A senior government official said the concessions came in response to the “quiet” along the Gaza border and an end to the arson attacks against southern Israel that have continued since Sunday, in accordance with a deal with Hamas brokered by Egypt and the United Nations. “Tough action by the IDF, which will continue as needed,” was largely responsible for the calm, said the source.

The cost of war, noted Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday in a ceremony to appoint a new military secretary, “is terrible… this knowledge always tells how we should reduce it.” Netanyahu, who himself served as an officer in the elite Sayeret Matkal commando unit and who lost his older brother to terrorism, knows the cost of war first-hand.

Any true ceasefire deal must include the return of the Israeli captives being held by Hamas, living and dead, said the source. There will be “no real arrangement without the return of our sons and citizens and a commitment for a long-term calm,” the source said.

Advertisement