The families of slain soldiers Hadar Goldin, Hy”d, and Oron Shaul, Hy”d, received more than an update on the status of efforts to return their bodies from Hamas on Sunday; they elicited promises from Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu regarding policy decisions that could determine their fate.
A statement from the Prime Minister’s Office on Sunday said that they had been updated and “the families raised other courses of action; the Prime Minister instructed his staff to evaluate the possibilities that were raised.”
On Sunday night, Leah and Simcha Goldin revealed that the prime minister gave his word not to transfer the bodies of terrorists while Hamas still holds Israelis hostage; and that no formal ceasefire would be agreed with Gaza terrorists that did not include the return of their sons, according to The Jerusalem Post.
The prime minister also told the families he would personally work through international channels, including the U.N. and donor countries, to ensure the return not only of the remains of the two soldiers, but to also secure the release of the two civilian captives in Gaza, Avera Mengistu and Hisham al-Sayed.
Mengistu’s family said they had not been notified of the meeting, after being told the day before that it was canceled, the Post said.
The meeting with the Goldins and Shauls took place a few hours after the Goldins again castigated the prime minister for neglecting their case.
“After five years and four months in which nothing has really been done, we expect to hear from Netanyahu when he will return the soldiers and civilians who are in the hands of Hamas,” they said.
“Hadar was abducted during a ceasefire that was violated by Hamas. Any other ceasefire that the Israeli government reaches without returning the soldiers is the continued abandonment of Lieutenant Hadar Goldin and Sergeant Oron Saul in the hands of the enemy,” the Goldins said.
Earlier in the day, PM Netanyahu stated at the weekly cabinet meeting that his government had made no commitments to the Gaza terrorists in the informal ceasefire currently in place.
“I would like to reiterate: Israel has not promised anything,” Netanyahu said. “Our security policy has not changed at all, not one iota. We maintain complete freedom of action and we will hurt whomever tries to hurt us.”