Netanyahu Caught Between Hamas and Families

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu chairs the weekly cabinet meeting Sunday at the Prime Minister’s office in Yerushalayim. (Oded Balilty/Pool via Reuters)

While Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said on Sunday that his government continues to seek the release of two Israeli captives and two missing IDF soldiers in Gaza, the mother of one of the missing accused the Israeli negotiator of lying, and Hamas claimed there were no current negotiations.

PM Netanyahu spoke in defense of Yaron Blum, in charge of negotiations with Hamas for their release, whom Leah Goldin had accused of “lying” and “deceiving” the families, earlier on Sunday. Her interview on Channel 12 was only the most recent time that she has castigated Netanyahu and his aides for failing to secure the remains of her son Hadar Goldin, Hy”d, and the others.

The prime minister told the cabinet, “I want to say on this issue that I have full confidence in Yaron Blum. who is doing his work in a credible, serious and professional manner.”

Also on Sunday, Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar denied any active talks on the matter, blaming the political stalemate in Israel: “They [Israel] don’t have an active government and they don’t have a cabinet that can deliberate big issues like the Iranian threat. They can’t make crucial and fateful decisions at this state,” Sinwar was quoted as saying by Channel 13 news.

Hamas is believed to be holding Israeli citizens Avera Avraham Mengistu and Hisham al-Sayed, as well as the bodies of IDF soldiers Oron Shaul Hyd and Hadar Goldin, Hy”d , who were killed in the 2014 Gaza war.

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