Rivlin Asks U.N. Chief’s Help With Hamas

YERUSHALAYIM -
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon holds a joint press conference with Israeli President Reuven Rivlin at the president's residence in Yerushalayim on Monday. (Shlomi Cohen/Flash90)
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon holds a joint press conference with Israeli President Reuven Rivlin at the president’s residence in Yerushalayim on Monday. (Shlomi Cohen/Flash90)

Israel’s President Reuven Rivlin has asked United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon for his assistance in resolving the issue of Israelis held captive by Hamas and the return of the bodies of IDF soldiers in Gaza.

“Hamas still refuses to give — even to the Red Cross — information on the fate of two of our soldiers, Hadar Goldin, Hy”d, and Oron Shaul, Hy”d. At the same time, we are very worried about two Israeli citizens both suffering poor mental health, one Muslim and one Jewish. They are being held by Hamas after crossing into Gaza two years ago. Again Hamas has refused to give details about their well-being or where they are held. I ask you to do all you can to bring an end to this pain.”

The request came during Ban’s last scheduled visit to Israel while in office.

“Secretary General, this may be your last visit to Israel in your current position. So I take this opportunity to thank you; thank you for your dedication to our region and for peoples around the world. You will always be welcome here, as a true friend of Israel — even if we may not always agree — a friend who knows the importance of a strong Israel,” Rivlin said in his welcoming remarks.

Ban spoke of his hope for an end to terrorism: “A better tomorrow also means a future free from violence. The latest appalling terror attack in Tel Aviv is a vivid example. I offer my deepest condolences to the victims and their families. Stabbings, shootings, and bombings will not achieve anything because violence is never a solution. Such acts are precisely designed to breed fear and uncertainty. They eat away at trust and hope, and drive Palestinians and Israelis further apart and strip away any sense of empathy for one another.”