Liberman: Soldiers’ Bodies Won’t Be Returned

YERUSHALAYIM -

Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman provoked a furious response from the family of IDF soldier Hadar Goldin, Hy”d, when he said on Monday that he would not negotiate with Hamas for the return of bodies.

“In my estimation, the troops’ bodies won’t come back to Israel; I don’t see it happening,” Liberman said. “Nobody must think that terror pays,” referring to the exchange of 1,027 Palestinian prisoners for kidnapped soldier Gilad Shalit, some of whom were responsible for the killing of hundreds of Israelis.

“I opposed in the past the Shalit deal as well, and I don’t intend to make a deal in the future with Hamas.”

The Goldins’ response came later on Monday: “A defense minister who decides to give up knowingly on returning bodies from the battlefield has no moral currency to remain as Israel’s defense minister,” the family said in a statement. “We call on the prime minister to clarify to the Israeli defense minister the government’s stance regarding returning Hadar and Oron home.” Oron Shaul, Hy”d, is the other soldier who was killed in the 2014 Gaza war and whose body is still in Hamas hands.

Liberman was in fact at odds with the official government position until now. Two months ago, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said Israel is doing everything to bring the bodies back.