Second Lieutenant Hadar Goldin, the Givati officer killed in Rafah over the weekend, was a distant relative of Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon, it was released for publication Sunday. Ya'alon grandfather was the brother of Goldin's great-grandmother; their relation was not made public for fear it would be used by Hamas.
Goldin's funeral will be held at 5:30 pm in Kfar Saba. Despite the distant familial relation, Ya'alon knew Simcha – the fallen soldier's father – from childhood and had known Hadar since his birth. The defense minister even lectured at Goldin's high school at his request.
Ya'alon arrived at the Goldin family home in Kfar Saba accompanied by the head of the IDF's Human Resources Branch, Maj.-Gen. Orna Barbivai and the Chief Military Rabbi, to deliver the news late Saturday night.
The Givati officer died in combat on Friday, August 1, 2014, in Rafah when a terrorist emerged from a tunnel in the southern Gaza Strip and detonated himself near an IDF force, killing another officer and a soldier from Givati Brigade – Major Benaya Sarel and Staff Sergeant Liel Gidoni.
On Saturday night, Goldin's family criticized the IDF decision to start withdrawing parts of its forces from Gaza. "I demand the state of Israel not to leave Gaza until it brings my son home," Hadar Goldin's mother, Lea Hedva, said. "Don't abandon my child or anyone else's child who went to protect the State of Israel."
Shachar Hay and Yoav Zitun contributed to this report.