Hamas Sets Conditions for Return of Soldiers’ Bodies

Before and after pictures show Israeli fire-fighters at the scene after a rocket fired by Palestinian terrorists in Gaza landed in Ashdod, July 14, 2014 (top) and the same place July 7, 2015. July 8th marked the one-year anniversary of Operation Protective Edge.
Before and after pictures show Israeli fire-fighters at the scene after a rocket fired by Palestinian terrorists in Gaza landed in Ashdod, July 14, 2014 (top) and the same place July 7, 2015. July 8th marked the one-year anniversary of Operation Protective Edge.

YERUSHALAYIM - A year after the conclusion of Operation Protective Edge, Israel and Hamas were reportedly negotiating the possible return of the bodies of IDF soldiers Hadar Goldin and Oron Shaul, who were killed in the Gaza war through a European go-between.

Turkish news agency Anadolu quoted a senior Hamas official confirming that the matter had been brought up, but that Hamas would only enter negotiations once Israel releases 70 Hamas members who were freed in the 2011 Shalit deal but rearrested in 2014.

On Tuesday, classified videos of the battle in which Lt. Hadar Goldin was captured by Hamas were released to the public. The battle in Rafah, which also resulted in the deaths of two other Givati Brigade soldiers — IDF Major Benaya Sarel and Sergeant Lial Gidoni — became known as Black Friday. In the footage, an IDF infantry unit was shown making a coordinated approach on hostile positions, shortly before the tragic events.

Meanwhile, on Wednesday, legislation calling for a mandatory life sentence for terrorist kidnappers passed a preliminary vote in the Knesset, The Jerusalem Post reported.

The bill, sponsored by MK Motti Yogev (Jewish Home) came in response to the kidnapping and murder of three teenage boys in Gush Etzion last June, which shook Israel and triggered events which led to the war with Hamas.

The bill passed its first reading with 46 in favor and 18 opposed.