Photo Credit: courtesy, EU Embassy
Parents of fallen IDF officer Hadar Goldin, still held in Gaza by Hamas

by Mara Vigevani

The family of Lt. Hadar Goldin, the IDF officer who was killed in the 2014 counter terror war (Operation Protective Edge) has asked the European Union to condition humanitarian aid to Gaza on the return of the bodies of Israel’s missing soldiers, Israel’s Kan Broadcast Corporation reported Tuesday.

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In an effort to pressure the international community into bringing the bodies of the missing soldiers home, the family met last week with European Union Ambassador Emanuele Giaufret and an EU delegation visiting Israel to examine policy on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The Goldin family asked the EU to punish Hamas for refusing to divulge information about Hadar Goldin and Sgt. Oron Shaul, both missing in action, as well as about two living Israeli civilians held by Hamas. The refusal of Hamas to return the bodies is a violation of international law, the family told the EU representatives.

The family also recently met with members of the European Parliament, from the Netherlands, Romania, and Hungary who promised they would take action to help them.

After the meeting, Giaufret clarified that humanitarian aid to Gaza and the return of the bodies are not conditional upon each other, but both issues need to be addressed.

“The bodies of fallen and captives held in Gaza have to be returned to their families. As we work to address the humanitarian situation in Gaza this humanitarian issue is not to be forgotten. No parents should suffer this,” he wrote on Twitter.

To pressure the Israeli government to do more to bring home the bodies Leah and Simha Goldin, Hadar’s parents, sailed Monday toward Gaza together with MKs Sharren Haskel (Likud), Moti Yogev and Shuli Moalem-Refaeli (Bayit Yehudi), Ayelet Nahmias-Verbin (Zionist Union) and Dan Saida (Shas).

Last week 400 IDF reservists who fought during the war launched a campaign to ask Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to work harder for the return of the bodies of the missing soldiers. The reserve soldiers returned the medals of valor they received for their service during Operation Protective Edge and wrote in an open letter to Netanyahu that the wounds of the 2014 war would not close until the soldiers’ remains were returned to Israel.

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