The government has decided not to oppose the permanent opening of the Rafiach checkpoint between Gaza and Sinai – and the family of missing IDF soldier Hadar Goldin slammed the decision, saying that despite the lip service government officials from the prime minister on down give to promising that Hadar and other missing Israelis will be brought home, “the reality is that nothing is being done at all to bring them home,” the parents of Hadar, Leah and Simcha Goldin, said in a statement.
The permanent opening of the checkpoint is set for next month, in time for a Muslim festival. Until now, the checkpoint has been open only very occasionally, as Egypt is wary of allowing too much traffic from Gaza into Sinai, lest Hamas terrorists join with Muslim Brotherhood terrorists already in Sinai to carry out terror attacks against Egyptian security forces. Hamas has in recent months discussed the issue with Egypt, and has promised to ensure that no such attacks emanate from Gaza.
Missing in Gaza are Israeli soldiers Hadar Goldin, Hy”d, Oron Shaul, Hy”d, both presumed to have been killed in 2014’s Operation Protective Edge. Another Israeli, Avram Mengistu, is presumed to still be alive.
Israeli officials, including Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, have reassured the families on many occasions that “everything possible” is being done to bring the Israelis home.
But acceding to the opening of the Rafiach checkpoint – the only land access exit for residents of Gaza – without insisting on the return of the Israelis, or at least definitive information on their fate or condition, does not appear to be doing “everything possible” to bring them home, the Goldins said.
“The government is dismissing its own decisions from earlier this year, in which it said that Hamas could not be allowed to have an outlet to the outside world until information was forthcoming on our children.”
The decision to allow the opening of the checkpoint for the first time since the end of Protective Edge, they said, “is a failure of values and morality. Returning our sons is a purely humanitarian issue.”