Goldin family to appeal to HCJ against government's 'capitulations' to Hamas
Family of fallen soldier held by Hamas announces intention to appeal to HCJ demanding bodies of missing tunnel terrorists not be returned to Hamas, visitation of Hamas prisoners halted and entry visas to Gaza residents reduced; 'Government of Israel has capitulated to Hamas,' says fallen soldiers' father.
Leah and Simcha Goldin, the parents of Hadar Goldin, whose body has been held by Hamas since Operation Protective Edge, announced Sunday they intend to petition the High Court of Justice against the government, the Security Cabinet and the head of both, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, over what they say are "capitulations" to Hamas.
In their petition, Goldin's parents demand to bar the government from handing over the bodies of Hamas terrorists back to the organization, to revoke visitation rights from all Hamas prisoners in Israel and to reduce the number of entry visas for humanitarian purposes granted to Gaza residents.
"The Security Cabinet has decided to exert pressure on Hamas so it understands holding onto IDF soldiers is a burden, to send a message that Israel is changing the rules and a heavy toll will be exacted for every additional day they hold on to those soldiers," Simcha Goldin said.
"However, in a highly absurd situation, the government hasn't the slightest inclination to implement the Cabinet's decisions. Israel has completely halted visitations of Gaza residents to Israeli jails, but families in the West Bank are asking to visit prisoners on a daily basis. The government of Israel has capitulated to Hamas," Goldin accused.
"Since the Cabinet's decisions were made, the government of Israel failed to stand its ground and acquiesced to Hamas on several occasions. In July, the Israeli government returned the bodies of the three Temple Mount terrorists to their families, despite Hamas declaring them to be martyrs. We demand Netanyahu to remain true to his word to be 'strong against Hamas.' Releasing Hamas terrorists and detaining them under the current conditions are an affront to Hadar Goldin and Oron Shaul, both of which are still in Rafah," Goldin concluded.
Hadar's mother, Leah, then compared Israel to other countries and complained about its government's treatment of her family.
"Our petition also has an important international angle. In the past year, we've conducted international work, mostly in the United States. Congressmen are amazed at Israel's inability to do something. There's a real unwillingness to return our soldiers.
"The American administration, or any world government for that matter, exacts a toll on anyone who holds its soldiers. The Israeli government, meanwhile, lets dozens of trucks enter the strip daily, as well as unload ships from Qatar and provide its residents with cost-free medical care."
"Instead of exerting pressure on Hamas, Israeli leadership is too busy intimidating the Shaul and Goldin families. They're telling us missiles will fall on Ashdod and Ashkelon because of us, and a serious crisis will break out. They're telling us, 'We can't change the terms of detainment, it'll lead to an uprising.' Enough excuses, it's time for action," the bereaved mother demanded.
"Decisions were made just before Shabbat so no one is the wiser, except for the Goldin family. Nothing should be conceded if nothing is gained in return," Leah appealed. "Palestinian reconciliation works in our favor and provides us additional tools to work against Hamas. The reconciliation is an opportunity that shouldn't be missed. Opening the Rafah border crossing and giving permits to Palestinian Authority personnel—these are humanitarian issues that may be conditioned on the return of our soldiers. You can't let that pass."
Tzur Goldin, Hadar's twin brother, followed his parents. "Since Thursday, and the Red Cross's request to allow Hamas to remove the bodies from the tunnel (blown up by the IDF last week), we've considered whether we should join the petition as respondents and detail our stance. A country that truly wished to return its sons home should have held onto the bodies of the terrorists. Israeli and international law allows bringing the terrorists to burial: that is improper. We ended up not joining the petition, because it wouldn't have been right. Because we trust (Attorney General Avichai) Mandelblit and (Chief Military Advocate General) Sharon Afek to stand on guard," he said.
The state's response to the request to extract the terroristsEarlier Sunday, the state told the High Court all terrorists who were inside or near the tunnel the IDF blew up were killed. The state's reply came following a petition by Adalah—The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel to allow Palestinian search and rescue forces to locate the terrorists still missing in the tunnel exploded by the IDF last week.
In its response, the state asked the High Court to reject the petition out of hand, due to the fact that "there is operational activity that has not yet been completed. At present, IDF forces are still carrying out different operations in the field relating to the tunnel."
The Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), Maj. Gen. Yoav Mordechai, spoke to Jacques De Maio, the head of the International Committee of the Red Cross delegation to Israel, on Thursday stressing to him that Israel "would not allow search efforts in the Gaza Strip security zone without progress on the issue of Israeli POWs and MIAs."
In response to COGAT's announcement, Hamas and Islamic Jihad declared the five missing terrorists were dead, bringing the death toll to 12, with 11 others injured.
"The demolished tunnel is not the only tunnel we have that crosses into Israel," Hamas said, stressing it would not provide information on Israel's MIAs and POWs in return for the five missing terrorists' bodies.