"My son Oron went out to battle in Gaza. It's been two years now, and he hasn't come back. During these two years, we met with the prime minister (many times), and time after time, he promised that there would not be a negotiation without Oron and (fellow Protective Edge casualty) Hadar Goldin being part of the conversation. Now a deal with Turkey is about to be signed," Zehava Shaul said on Saturday.
Hadar Goldin's father Simcha told Ynet on Sunday, "This deal is a gift to Hamas. If the ministers vote on it, approve it, it (would be) a first failure for Israel after Operation Protective Edge, and that's very severe in our eyes."
Goldin said that the families have been in contact with Netanyahu for the past two years or so, "And from the first month, he promised that in any negotiation (involving) Gaza, the precondition would be returning the (fallen soldiers), before anything else. He said this to us on the 30th, since then we've had four-five meetings with him He's said it on every opportunity… We now understand that this was nowhere (among his) priorities."
"If the government approves this agreement, then we're in bad shape. The next abductees are on their way, because Hamas will keep abducting. If no pressure is put on it and it receives a prize in the form of a hospital that the Turks will build and a power plant that the Turks will build, then why give back the fallen soldiers, what's the political logic?"
The family of Avera Mengistu, who has been missing in Gaza since September 2014 and is thought to be held by Hamas, and their associates protested in front of the prime minister's office on Sunday, demanding that the Turkey reconciliation agreement not be approved until Israel receives proof of life from Mengistu, and until a negotiation for his return begins.
In addition to the families' demonstrations, a separate protest has arisen among reservist soldiers from the IDF's Givati Brigade, where Goldin was a soldier, who served in Protective Edge. The protest, which came in the form of text messages passed among the reservists, was started by a soldier named Tzlil Turgeman. "Two years ago we went to defend our home in the Protective Edge war. Each of us who went to battle left a whole family at home all to bring back calm to (Israel's) southern towns, protect our home and our special people. But two years have passed, and the mission is still incomplete. Our two friends Hadar and Oron… are still in the hands of (Hamas)," he said.