The father of IDF Staff Sgt. Oron Shaul, Herzl Shaul, was laid to rest on Sunday in the cemetery of the northern Israeli community of Poria Illit, overlooking Lake Kinneret (Sea of Galilee.)
Attending the funeral were top Israeli leaders, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, President Reuven Rivlin, IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot and others.
Both Netanyahu and Eisenkot vowed to work to bring back Oron Shaul’s remains for proper burial in Israel. “My commitment [and] those of the government of Israel, of the IDF, of the State of Israel — our commitment is to bring Oron home,” Netanyahu said.
“Oron’s body, along with that of Hadar Goldin, is held by Hamas, a vicious terrorist organization that respects no humanitarian norm. Herzl Shaul was a brave man and until his last days he fought to return his son’s remains for a Jewish burial,” Netanyahu had told the cabinet meeting earlier in the day.
“At the same time, over the past year, he was compelled to fight the cancer with which he had been stricken. I saw him several times and on each occasion, from meeting to meeting, he appeared more gaunt, and heroically met the double tragedy that befell him and his family. On behalf of the Government and the people of Israel, I would like to send condolences to his dear wife Zehava and their sons Aviram and Ofek.
Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman also said the government is “committed to returning the bodies of Staff Sergeant Oron Shaul and Lieutenant Hadar Goldin of blessed memory, and bringing them to Israel for burial.”
Oron and a second soldier, Hadar Goldin, both died in battle during Operation Protective Edge, but their bodies were stolen and held as bargaining chips by the Hamas terrorist organization. The prime minister said he guaranteed the IDF would continue to support the Shaul family and “fulfill the will of Herzl.”
“We will continue to act in all fields to bring the late Hadar Goldin and the late Oron Shaul back for a Jewish burial,” Netanyahu said.Hana Levi Julian