In a weekend press conference, Herzl and Zahava Shaul, parents of missing IDF soldier Oron Shaul, called on Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu not to sign any deals with Turkey until arrangements are made for the return of their son Oron, along with missing soldier Hadar Goldin, Hy”d. “Before you sign, before you decide, think about us,” they said, addressing Netanyahu. “We have been waiting for two years. Think about the Goldin family and the Shaul family. This is our opportunity to bring our sons home.”
The two soldiers went missing during 2014’s Operation Protective Edge, when witnesses saw their bodies dragged through the opening of a Hamas terror tunnel. The two were definitely killed in battle, the IDF said, but earlier this month their status was redefined and they were declared as also being “missing in action and in captivity.” Hamas is believed to be holding at least some of the remains of both soldiers. Other remains were buried in 2014 in state funerals.
The families have been demanding that the rest of the remains be returned to them as part of the overall reconciliation with Turkey, which is set to be signed this week. As part of the agreement, Israel is allowing Turkey to become more active in Gaza, taking on projects such as the construction of a power plant. The Shauls said at the press conference that the deal represented their best opportunity to retrieve the remains of the soldiers.