Goldin Family Sues State: ‘Get Tougher on Hamas for Return of Our Sons’

YERUSHALAYIM -
Hamas members stand guard outside a mural depicting a prison cell holding Israeli soldier Hadar Goldin, Hy”d, captive in Gaza City, in 2015. (MOHAMMED ABED/AFP/Getty Images)

The family of missing IDF soldier Hadar Goldin, Hy”d, is set to file a lawsuit against the government with the High Court, accusing it of failing to live up to its own decisions to increase pressure on Hamas to release the remains of Hadar and fellow IDF soldier Oron Shaul. At a press conference, Hadar’s parents, Professor Simcha and Leah Goldin, said that Israel had “effectively given up” on pressuring Hamas, in contradiction to a decision made by the cabinet itself last month.

For example, “Israel has largely ended the visits of the families who live in Gaza [to] their family members in Israeli prisons, but famil[ies] that lives in Yehudah and Shomron are free to visit these terrorists,” the Goldins said at the press conference. “These visits take place weekly, or even daily, and it does not appear that any pressure is being applied.”

Even worse, “Israel has even in recent weeks time after time bowed to Hamas demands, especially in allowing Hamas to set the terms for presenting information about our sons,” they said. “We demand that the prime minister stand firm against Hamas.”

With the announcement that the IDF is holding the bodies of five Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorists killed in the collapse of a terror tunnel last week, Israel has another opportunity to pressure Hamas – and the family is demanding that the government refuse to cooperate with any group, local or international, in releasing the bodies or even providing information about them.

“The time has come to change the reality and pressure Hamas until they send our sons home. We must make Hamas understand that holding Israeli soldiers hostage is not an asset, but a burden. The pressure must make it clear that Israel will extract a high price for every day that they hold our soldiers hostage.”

In a statement, Hamas said Monday that it was “not impressed” by the Israeli government’s announcement Sunday that it was holding the bodies of the five terrorists, and that they would not be released unless Hamas supplied information about the fates of Goldin and Shaul. “This is a hopeless attempt by the occupiers to create a new formula” for negotiations, the Hamas statement said. “We know how to free our people, as we did in the past in the Gilad Shalit deal. We will not give the enemy one piece of data in exchange for the release of the bodies of our soldiers.”