YERUSHALAYIM – a group of the parents of soldiers who fell in the 2014 Operation Protective Edge in Gaza are demanding that the government establish an independent panel of inquiry into the handling of the war, Ynet reported on Monday.
The dozens of bereaved parents have sent a letter to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, with copies to President Reuven Rivlin, Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein, Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman and the Chairman of the Foreign Affairs and Security Committee (FASC) MK Avi Dichter.
The families charged that the FASC, which was tasked with investigating the decision-making process in the fighting that took the lives of 67 Israeli soldiers and five civilians, along with hundreds of wounded and traumatized, never published a report, for political reasons.
“Recently, it has become apparent that a decision was made to renew FASC discussions on the subject of Operation Protective Edge and produce a report that was shelved due to the (2015) elections,” the letter charged. They urged the government to replace the FASC with an independent body.
“You, who stand at the top, are obliged to undertake measures to learn objective lessons by an external and independent committee which is authorized to look into and investigate every incident of the war and those in charge at the time, including the decision-making process. Furthermore, we believe that the investigation should be transparent, which will guarantee our basic rights to know.”
Just over a week ago, MK Erel Margalit (Zionist Camp) asked MK Avi Dichter (Likud) to reconvene the committee on the matter. The Knesset Presidium subsequently instructed that the committee be reconvened, but did not specify a time frame.
Meanwhile, the family of Hadar Goldin, Hy”d, published a scathing denunciation of the government, ahead of a memorial marking two years since the end of the fighting in Gaza.
“We’re tired of the empty words and hollow promises made by the government of Israel claiming that it’s doing everything possible to bring back Shaul Oron, Hy”d and Hadar to be given a Jewish burial,” the family said in the statement.
“We’re now marking two years since Protective Edge and the government’s actions prove that the boys were left behind in Rafah and Shujai’yya [in Gaza].
“In the past weeks we have found out that the government is not doing everything it can to bring the children back,” the Goldin family continued.
“There are various areas of international pressure that the government of Israel is choosing not to bring to bear to bring about the return of Oron and Hadar.”
The Goldin and Shaul families were critical of the government’s decision to sign a normalization agreement with Turkey that didn’t guarantee that Turkey would use its influence with Hamas to secure return of the bodies.