American UN Ambassador Pledges to “Fiercely Advocate” for Return of Israeli Soldiers Held by Hamas

YERUSHALAYIM -
Israelis attend a rally calling for the return of the remains of late Israeli soldiers Oron Shaul Hy”d and Hadar Goldin Hy’d (seen in poster) from Hamas captivity, outside IDF headquarters in Tel Aviv, earlier this month. (Tomer Neuberg/Flash90)

The American ambassador to the U.N. has voiced full support for Israel’s efforts to secure the return of the two civilians and bodies of two fallen IDF soldiers Hy”d currently being held captive by Hamas in Gaza.

Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield told the Security Council’s monthly session on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, of a recent meeting she had with Leah Goldin, the mother of Hadar Hy”d, one of the two soldiers whose bodies are held by Hamas as a bargaining chip.

“For the last seven years, the Goldins have advocated endlessly for his return. When I met with her, I promised her I would do everything possible to support her efforts to have her son returned. No parent – no one – should have to endure such a wretched experience,” Thomas-Greenfield said, as quoted by The Times of Israel.

“The United States will continue to fiercely advocate for the return of Israeli soldiers killed in action in Gaza, as well as the return of Israeli civilians held captive there. And we will continue to push for decency, for humanity, for equality, and for peace for all,” she added.

She did not comment on the current negotiations between Israel and Hamas, which reportedly involve a Hamas offer to return the captives if Israel agrees to release 1,100 Palestinian prisoners. Nor did she say whether or not the U.S. backs Israel’s insistence that the reconstruction of Gaza will not proceed until the four are returned.

Regarding other Israel-related issues, she followed the Biden administration policy, as she is obligated to do.

She said Washington opposes unilateral measures by Israel that could undermine hopes for peace, such as “settlement activity, annexation of territory, evictions, demolitions, incitement to violence, and compensating individuals imprisoned for acts of terrorism.”