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January 24, 2017 / 26 Tevet, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘Oron Shaul’

Mengistu Family, MKs Call on Govt to Rescue Captive From Hamas

Monday, January 2nd, 2017

The family of a 28-year-old Ethiopian-Israeli man being held in Gaza by Hamas terrorists held a demonstration with supporters on Sunday at their home in Ashkelon to protest what they insist has been the government’s lack of action in rescuing their loved one.

Abera (Avram) Mengistu, a resident of Ashkelon, simply walked across the border into Gaza at the Zikim beach in September 2014, for unknown reasons. He has been missing ever since. Mengistu is known to have had mental health issues; for this reason, he was excused from military service in earlier years.

Hamas has refuted family statements underlining the fact that Avram is mentally unstable. The terror group instead claims the Israeli civilian was captured as a “prisoner of war.”

About 40 people came to the rally, including Knesset members Oren Hazan (Likud), and Ksenia Svetlova and Yehiel ‘Hilik’ Bar, both of the Zionist Union faction. MK Avraham Neguise (Likud), the only current lawmaker from the Ethiopian community, had been scheduled to attend but cancelled at the last minute.

On Sunday, an Israeli government cabinet meeting was held focusing on this issue and on strategies to pressure Hamas into returning Mengistu and Hisham al-Sayed, a Bedouin civilian with similar mental health issues, who also walked across the border into Gaza and is likewise being held hostage. Also being held captive are the bodies of two IDF officers who fell in battle during Operation Protective Edge in 2014, Oron Shaul and Hadar Goldin.

The protest was held after the regular Sunday government cabinet meeting, which this week focused on various strategies to pressure Hamas into returning the two young officers’ bodies and the two live captives.

In a statement to the Tazpit Press Service (TPS), Ilan Mengistu, Abera’s brother complained about what he said was inadequate coverage of his brother’s plight. “Media coverage of the Cabinet meeting only dealt with getting the bodies [of Oron Shaul and Hadar Goldin] back, while the humanitarian concern of my brother was only mentioned in the sidelines, if at all,” he said.

“My brother, Abera, has been held by the organization Hamas for more than 840 days, far from his country and his family and only on Sunday did the cabinet decided to convene to talk about it. It reveals much about their real intention, as part of their roles and moral responsibility, to return an innocent man home,” Mengistu said.

“We must spread the word with our head held high that Israel has a humanitarian duty to bring back Abera. Hamas prisoners should not be allowed family visits and demanding from the world humanitarian assistance for the Gaza Strip while they are still holding my brother, an innocent citizen who has never borne arms and who is utterly unrelated to the conflict surrounding us,” he said.

The Security Cabinet also met Sunday to discuss possible ways to pressure Hamas into returning all the captives. One of the decisions made in that forum was that the bodies of Hamas operatives killed during terror attacks on Israelis will not be returned to their families. Instead, they’ll be interred in a cemetery for enemy dead. Other decisions made by the security cabinet were not revealed.

Like Mengistu, the Goldin and Shaul families both criticized the decision. The Goldin family, related to former Defense Minister Moshe ‘Boogie’ Ya’alon, said that “they would not reward people who decided to act too little and too late.” The Shaul family said they were tired of talking and were waiting for the prime minister to implement the decision with practical actions that demonstrate leadership.

All three families called on the government to raise restrictions on Hamas inmates in Israeli prisons until Hamas frees their children. They also slammed the normalization of ties with Turkey without having included specific agreements on returning their children to Israel. Turkey is strongly tied to the Hamas government in Gaza.

The decision by the cabinet to bury Hamas bodies — a serious act of hostility on the part of Israel in this region from a cultural perspective — followed the release of a vicious video by Hamas, mocking Israel and the parents of Hadar Goldin, with the music of a lullaby.

Goldin’s face was Photoshopped by the terror group onto a terrorist portraying a prisoner. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s face was Photoshopped on to the image of a second terrorist dressed as a clown; he was depicted as a visitor to the prisoner who then blew out candles on a birthday cake, throwing the entire screen into darkness.

Ilana Messika and TPS contributed content to this report.

Hana Levi Julian

Herzl Shaul, z’l, Father of IDF Staff Sgt. Oron Shaul, z’l, Laid to Rest

Monday, September 5th, 2016

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

Father of IDF Staff Sgt. Oron Shaul, z’l, Dies Waiting for Son’s Body

Friday, September 2nd, 2016

Herzl Shaul, the father of IDF Staff Sergeant Oron Shaul, z’l, has passed away 10 months after a hard-fought battle of his own with a difficult illness.

The elder Shaul has spent the past two years fighting for the return of his son’s remains from captivity by the Hamas terrorist organization in Gaza, but earlier this year he was diagnosed with cancer of the small intestine.

The soldier’s father was treated for the disease at Poriya Medical Center in Tiberias and at Rambam Medical Center in Haifa, a global leader in the treatment of cancer, but the disease metastisized. Within the year Herzl Shaul lost 25 kilograms, more than 50 pounds.

This past week he gave up his fight for his son’s remains, as his own fight for life intensified. He was moved to Tel Hashomer Medical Center in Tel Aviv, with the Defense Minister providing accommodations for his wife near the hospital in order for her to remain close to her husband.

Shaul was initially believed to be missing. The six other soldiers inside his armored personnel carrier (APC) were killed. But the evidence gathered from the scene led investigators to the conclusion that the 20-year-old soldier had died in the July 20, 2014 battle during Operation Protection Edge. The terrorists who attacked his Givati Brigades unit stole his body to hold him hostage as a bargaining chip with Israel.

The younger Shaul was subsequently declared by the IDF Chief Rabbi to be a soldier who died but whose burial place is unknown. His family sat shiva, but later requested the IDF designate him as a soldier “missing in action,” which it did.

Herzl and Zehava Shaul for months led a daily vigil outside the office of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem, pressuring the government to bring back the body of their son.

Netanyahu and his wife Sara expressed their condolences to the family on Friday. “In our meetings with Herzl we saw a strong man who devoted all his time and energy toward his health and efforts to return the body of his late son,” the prime minister said, adding a vow that Israel would not fail to retrieve Oron’s remains.

“The Defense Ministry and the people of Israel bow their heads in sorrow at the death of Herzl, of blessed memory,” said Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman in his statement. I met with Herzl about a month ago. [He] did everything in his power to return his late son Oron and I am saddened he did not achieve this before he died. The Israeli 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.”

IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot paid tribute to the elder Shaul as well, saying he had pledged to keep fighting to return the bodies of both his son and Goldin. “Herzl was the head of an exemplary family,” he said in a statement.

“I send a strong embrace to [his wife] Zehava and the family at this difficult time. I met Herzl for the last time a week ago, and I promised him that we will continue to do everything we can to bring Oron and Hadar home, to be laid to rest in Israel.”

Hana Levi Julian

Liberman: No Negotiations With Hamas Over IDF Soldiers’ Bodies

Monday, August 29th, 2016

Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman said today in private talks closed to the media during a tour of Bedouin communities in southern Israel that the bodies of two dead IDF soldiers held by the Hamas terrorist organization in Gaza will not be returned, Israel’s Channel 10 television news reported Monday night.

Liberman said he opposes any form of dialogue with Hamas that would comprise a “deal” with the terrorist organization similar to that which freed former IDF soldier Gilad Shalit, held hostage in Gaza by the group for more than five years.

Israel was forced to free more than a thousand Palestinian Authority terrorist prisoners in order to retrieve Shalit, including hundreds of murderers with the blood of numerous Jews on their hands.

IDF soldiers Oron Shaul and Hadar Goldin were killed during Operation Protective Edge in the summer of 2014, and both of their bodies were stolen during the conflict by Hamas. Their bodies have since been held hostage by the terrorist group in Gaza.

The Goldin family responded sharply to Liberman’s statement, saying he cannot continue to serve as defense minister, Channel 10 reported.

Following the broadcast of those remarks, the Ministry of Defense clarified Liberman’s statement in a separate release.

In response to the Channel 10 report, the ministry underlined in a statement: “Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman did not refer today or in recent days to the issue of returning the bodies of IDF soldiers Shaul or Goldin.

“The minister opposed, and has always opposed, any deal-making whatsoever for captives held by terrorists, up to today.

“One might remember that Minister Liberman also voted against the negotiations over former IDF soldier Gilad Shalit (for his eventual release from captivity).

“[Minister Liberman] held the opinion at that time that it is wrong to allow anyone to believe that terrorism pays.”

Hana Levi Julian

Oron Shaul’s Family Blocking Visitation Buses to Hamas Prisoners

Monday, July 11th, 2016

The family of Oron Shaul continues to fight to get their son’s body back from Hamas in Gaza. Oron Shaul was killed in the Gaza war, and his body was stolen by Hamas.

In their previous attempt to put pressure on Hamas to free their son, the family blocked humanitarian aid trucks from passing through the crossing into Gaza, demanding their son’s body be returned from Gaza in exchange for the aid.

They tried to get the prisons to not allow Hamas prisoners to watch the Euro game, but their legal attempts were rejected.

Today, the Oron family and their friends and supporters are blocking buses from Gaza and Hebron that are headed to the Nifcha prison for family visitations with the jailed Hamas terrorists.

The family is calling on the visiting relatives of the Hamas terrorists to tell Gaza chieftain Ismail Heniya to release Oron Shaul’s body from Gaza.

As of 10 AM, the family has blocked 3 buses.

Jewish Press News Briefs

Fallen Soldier’s Family Suing to Ban Hamas Prisoners from Watching Soccer Final

Sunday, July 10th, 2016

Sunday at 10 PM Israel time, most males (and many females) will be seated before their TV screens to watch the final game in the Euro 2016 soccer tournament, between the national teams of France and Portugal, two of the best teams on the planet. The family of Oron Shaul HY”D, an IDF soldier who is missing in action since the 2014 Gaza War, and whose body is being held by the Hamas government as a bargaining chip for future prisoner release negotiations, wants to make sure Hamas security prisoners will not be allowed this pleasure which they argue should be preserved to the non-murderous-terrorist portion of the public.

And argue they did, in Israel’s Supreme Court. On Sunday morning the family petitioned the court saying the decision to make all the TV channels carrying the game tonight available to security prisoners, most of whom are members of Hamas, is repugnant.

The family wrote that “we must deliver a message to the Hamas organization that our values are not your values, but in war let it be an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.”

Last week Zehava and Herzl Shaul, Oron’s parents, appealed to the Israel Prison Service Commissioner, Lieutenant General Ofra Klinger, and are yet to be answered, saying, “We were astonished to discover that you decided to approve benefits to 3,500 Hamas prisoners.”

JNi.Media

Bereaved Soldier’s Family Opposes Exchange of Prisoners for Son’s Body

Monday, July 4th, 2016

By Jonathan Benedek/TPS

The family of IDF Lieutenant Hadar Goldin, who was killed in Operation Protective Edge in 2014 and whose body was then reportedly abducted by Hamas, expressed adamant opposition to a reported demand by Hamas for an exchange of prisoners in return for Goldin’s body.

“The State of Israel had a golden opportunity last week to change the equation and to force Hamas to pay the price and return the bodies of Hadar and Oron in the framework of an agreement with Turkey,” a spokesperson for the the family said.

Goldin’s family for a week have been actively protesting the decision by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his cabinet to move forward on a reconciliation agreement with Turkey.

Goldin’s family, along with the bereaved family members of IDF soldier Oron Shaul who was also killed and whose body was then captured by Hamas in Operation Protective Edge, strongly opposed the reconciliation agreement due to Turkey’s continued relationship with Hamas.

“Unfortunately, instead of pressuring our enemies, incompetence won out and Hamas received a reward for its abductions,” the family continued. “While our soldiers remain captured in Gaza, Hamas prisoners are entitled to the conditions of a hotel and sit and watch the Euro games.”

Goldin’s family said that any future discussion regarding an exchange of prisoners would be a result of Netanyahu’s decision to sign an agreement with Turkey that does not include the demand that Turkey pressure Hamas to return Hadar Goldin, Oron Shaul, and two other Israeli citizens held by Hamas—Avera Mengistu, an Israeli of Ethiopian background, and a Bedouin-Israeli, whose whereabouts remain unknown after crossing into Gaza.

“When the prime minister signs agreements easing conditions on the Gaza Strip and does not require Hamas to pay the price for its criminal actions, he is actually sending a message of weakness and setting the stage for additional demands, including the release of murderers and terrorists,” the family argued.

“It’s time to demand payment from our enemies instead of paying them ourselves and to bring home our sons and soldiers, Hadar and Oron, who remain left behind.”

TPS / Tazpit News Agency

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/israel/bereaved-soldiers-family-opposes-exchange-of-prisoners-for-sons-body/2016/07/04/

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