Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman “failed miserably” in its efforts to prevent the Gaza burial of Hamas terrorist Fadi al-Batsh, said the parents of missing IDF soldier Hadar Goldin Wednesday. At a press conference, they slammed Netanyahu and Liberman for failing to take advantage of the one “card” Israel has over Hamas in its efforts to bring home the remains of Goldin and fellow IDF soldier Oron Shaul.
“From our experience in dealing with the absence of our son for nearly four years, we have come to understand that Hamas has a great interest in bringing terrorists to burial in Gaza. This is another opportunity to force the issue of missing soldiers and civilians held by Hamas,” and the opportunity has been wasted, said Simcha Goldin, father of the missing soldier.
“After three days of effort, it is clear that the result has been a ringing failure. This afternoon, the body of the terrorist will be sent through the Rafiach crossing, and his funeral will be a spectacle and media circus, with Hamas showing off to Gazans and the entire Arab world and international community the victory of top Hamas terrorist Yahya Sinwar over Binyamin Netanyahu. This is another Hamas victory over Israel’s government, and the leaders of its security policy – Netanyahu and Liberman.”
Egypt announced Wednesday morning that al-Batsh’s remains would be transported to Gaza through the Rafiach crossing later in the day, flying in the face of comments made Sunday by Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman, that under no circumstances would Israel allow al-Batsh’s remains to be buried in Gaza. Responding to demands by the family of al-Batsh in Gaza that the terrorist’s remains be sent to them for burial, Liberman said that “we do not allow the shipping of bodies to Gaza. We have also asked Egypt not to allow the body to be sent to Gaza via the Rafiach crossing,” but Cairo apparently has decided to “thumb its nose at us,” Simcha Goldin said.
“The most painful thing for us is the further evidence that rescuing Hadar Goldin, Oron Shaul, Avram Mengistu, and Hisham a-Sayid,” all four Israelis Hamas claims it is holding in Gaza, “is not at the top of the government’s agenda. We are reminded of this less than a week after Memorial Day, in which Netanyahu expressed his support of our efforts to retrieve our boys,” he added.
In a statement, Egypt said that it was allowing the transfer of the body to Gaza in order to maintain its status as an “honest broker” between Hamas and Israel, and that it was committed to helping Israel recover its missing soldiers and citizens. Leaving a body unburied “contradicts the laws of Islam,” the statement said.