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Bibi to Ban: Help Us Bring Home Missing Israelis

PM Netanyahu and Ban Ki-moon (Photo: twitter/IsraeliPM)

During this week's visit to Israel, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon met the families of IDF soldiers whose bodies are still being held by Hamas. Israel Hayom reports that PM Netanyahu called for the return of their loved ones' remains:

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and visiting U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon met in Jerusalem on Tuesday with family members of fallen IDF soldiers Oron Shaul and Hadar Goldin -- who were killed in Operation Protective Edge in the summer of 2014 and whose bodies were abducted by Hamas -- and missing Israeli civilian Avera Mengistu -- who was captured by Hamas after he crossed the border into the Gaza Strip on his own free will in September 2014.

In recent days, the Shaul, Goldin and Mengistu families have been publicly demanding that the plights of their loved ones be addressed in the Israel-Turkey reconciliation agreement.

A Bedouin from Israel's Arab community is also being held by Hamas in Gaza.

On Tuesday, Netanyahu told Ban, "Hamas is cruelly and illegally holding the remains of our soldiers and holding our citizens. I ask you to use your standing to help return home these soldiers and these citizens. It's a humanitarian position and elementary humanitarian requirement that Hamas and its criminal activities is of course throwing into the winds.

"Hamas is a terrorist organization. Hamas has genocidal aims. It doesn't merely practice terrorism. It says openly that its goal is to wipe away from the face of the earth a member state of the United Nations.

"I hope the U.N. will highlight Hamas' crimes and understand that our security measures are aimed only at keeping our citizens safe from this threat and we use judicious force in this regards. I don't know what any other country, faced with thousands of rockets and missiles aimed at our citizens, at our children, would do differently. Many have done it differently and they have not used the restraint and the responsibility that Israel uses."

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