The War Is Still Not Over

Stand for Israel  |  July 9, 2019

Missing IDF soldiers Hadar Goldin and Oron Shaul
Missing IDF soldiers Hadar Goldin and Oron Shaul

While Operation Protective Edge ended five years ago, its effects last for those who lost loved ones during the fierce fighting along Israel’s southern border with Gaza. But especially affected, The Jerusalem Post’s Tovah Lazaroff writes, are the mothers of Hadar Goldin and Oron Shaul, two IDF soldiers who were taken by Hamas and have yet to be returned:

For two IDF mothers, the 2014 Gaza war that began five years ago Monday has yet to end, even though most of the world calculates that its guns were silenced on August 26.

The army holds that Lt. Hadar Goldin was killed in a Hamas attack on August 1, when he was 23 years old. It similarly holds that St.-Sgt. Oron Shaul, then 20, was killed on July 20 when an armored personnel carrier he was traveling in was hit. Hamas is believed to be holding both their bodies.

“The war is not over until the two boys are returned,” Leah told The Jerusalem Post. She has accepted the army’s assessment that her son died, but wants to see his body returned.

“My son isn’t dead, he was kidnapped alive,” Zehava told Army radio. “Everyone needs to know that Oron was not in the APC when it exploded. He was fighting outside and was kidnapped.”

Leah said her son, Hadar, was killed two hours after a temporary truce had been declared. Hamas took advance of the truce to attack, she said.

In their effort to return their sons, the two families have traveled to the US and the United Nations. The families have been represented in their efforts by former Canadian justice minister Irwin Cotler, and met with former US ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley…

The capture and the retention of the bodies is a violation of international law, she said.

She urged all countries who donate humanitarian aid to Gaza to leverage that financial assistance to help the return of her son and Oron.

“Just imagine Gaza and Hamas could not survive for a single day without the support of the international community,” Leah said…