Publishing the statement shortly before 2017’s first political-security cabinet meeting on Sunday, which is set to discuss the return of the soldiers’ bodies, the family expressed their disappointment in repeated government statements of proclaimed steps taken which have yet to bear fruit.
“We expect that in this discussion operational decisions will be taken and we won’t hear the same statements again that the Israeli governments is doing everything to bring the boys back. Time and again this statement, completely empty and devoid of content, is made,” they said.
During the talks, Col. (res.) Lior Lotan, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's coordinator on the issue of POWs and MIAs, will present an overview listing contacts which have been established thus far to bring the soldiers back to Israel, along with the latest update on efforts made to bring Abera Mengistu back to Israel, an Ethiopian-Israeli reportedly held hostage by Hamas, and Hisham al-Sayed—both believed to have been suffering from psychiatric problems and who crossed the border into Gaza voluntarily.
The participants in the discussion will be apprised of all the most recent efforts to exert pressure on Hamas which, inter alia, include toughening up the conditions for imprisoned Hamas terrorists.
This notwithstanding, the Goldin family expressed their dissatisfaction with the efforts. “Our moral obligation as a people and the obligation of the IDF is to bring soldiers back from the battlefield,” the letter read, accusing the prime minister directly of surrendering to Hamas.
“Unfortunately, the prime minister waved a white flag at Hamas and gave up on bringing Hadar and Oron home. The Israeli government is demonstrating terrible weakness to Hamas.”
The family went on to describe the soldiers’ release as a humanitarian responsibility while decrying the government’s delivery of goods to Gaza and its assent to the return of bodies of many terrorists over recent months.
While the two sit in Hamas captivity, the family said, “Netanyahu releases bodies of terrorists, while Hamas prisoners receive deluxe conditions and the government pays the salaries of Hamas terrorists.
“The state is allowing the massive entry of goods into Gaza that no government has done in the past. While the state is creating water desalination factories in Gaza, the State of Israel doesn’t even demand to receive information about Hadar and Oron and isn’t conducting negotiations for their return. Anyone in the Israeli government who thinks this is a humanitarian issue,” they continued, “must know that so is bringing bodies back to be buried. It is also a religion issue.”
On Saturday, Hamas's military wing released videos of a mock birthday party for Oron Shaul.