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Goldin, Shaul families challenge gov’t, Hamas


Zehava Shaul, Oron’s mother, told the conference she believes the time has come for Israeli and Gazan leaders to come to a solution in the case.
By OREN OPPENHEIM

“Every citizen of Israel says to themselves: [Operation] Protective Edge never truly ended because we have two soldiers who still haven’t come home,” MK Shuli Moalem-Refaeli (Bayit Yehudi) said during a meeting she and MK Amir Peretz (Zionist Union) held in Knesset on Wednesday regarding captive soldiers Oron Shaul and Hadar Goldin.

Shaul and Goldin were captured and killed by Hamas during Operation Protective Edge in 2014; their bodies were never returned to Israel.

Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked (Bayit Yehudi) told attendees that “this topic is always on the daily agenda of the government.”

Ayelet Goldin, Hadar’s sister, later criticized Shaked, who left right after speaking: “How can it be… that the Justice Minister didn’t stay in the room?”

Decrying the government’s inaction and silence regarding her brother, she said: “I really grew up and was educated in a Zionist family… I thought those who lead us… care [about us].”

Irwin Cotler, a former member of Canada’s parliament and a legal advocate for human rights, spoke in English about Hamas’s violations of international humanitarian law, which include “the refusal by Hamas to share any information whatsoever [about the captives]… the refusal to repatriate the remains of the soldiers… the violation of the principle of respect for the remains of the deceased… [the violation of] the right to bury according to one’s own religious tradition.”

Cotler said that the Palestinian Authority represents, through the International Criminal Court, the Palestinian community, and yet “[for] four years they have been given a pass [on this issue], as if they’re not involved.”

Zehava Shaul, Oron’s mother, told the conference she believes the time for Israeli and Gazan leaders to come to a solution in this case has come, and that the “complicated situation” in Gaza could be helpful in negotiations.

“The pain goes away and then comes back even stronger,” she said about the past four years.

Leah Goldin, Hadar’s mother, also felt that “the strength of Israel” is missing from the efforts to bring the sons back.

“Abu Mazen [PA President Mahmoud Abbas] knows how to make demands… [saying to the United Nations] ‘I will not continue through the [peace] process until Hamas no longer is ruling [Gaza],’” she said. “But Bibi Netanyahu doesn’t know how to say, ‘I won’t continue with the [peace] process until they return the soldiers.’”

Cotler later told The Jerusalem Post: “It’s not an Israeli case, it’s a case anchored in international human rights and humanitarian law” and should involve the international community.

Emphasizing that he supports providing “necessary humanitarian assistance” to Gaza, Cotler said that “[if] we provide necessary humanitarian assistance to Gaza, for its people… the recipients of that assistance [must] implement their international law obligations in all respects.”
https://www.geezgo.com/sps/29163

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