Goldin, Mengistu families slam government's 'incompetence, indifference'
Families of Lt. Hadar Goldin and Avera Mengistu worry they will not be reunited with their loved ones, following reports that Israel has entered indirect negotiations with Hamas on solution to humanitarian crisis; 'Humanitarian action cannot be unilateral,' says Goldin's brother.
The families of Lt. Hadar Goldin, who was killed in Gaza and whose body is being held by Hamas, and of the missing Israeli citizen Avera Mengistu, who is also held by Hamas, have come out against reported indirect talks between Israel and the terror group over the humanitarian crisis in the strip.
Tzur Goldin, Hadar’s twin brother, explained the families' fear the return of his brother's remains and of Mengistu will not be included as part of the agreement with Hamas.
In interview with Ynet, Tzur Goldin explained there are several initiatives on the table to help ease the humanitarian situation in Gaza.
"The first—the Israeli initiative to build a seaport for Gaza. The second—the American (peace plan) draft that has already been presented to the prime minister," he said, adding there was also a Qatari proposal.
"We fear the day those agreements will be implemented ... this is why we are outside demonstrating and doing everything in our power so that the people of Israel will not allow the prime minister to sign a bad agreement," Goldin added.
According to Goldin, the return of the captives and missing persons must be "a condition in any humanitarian agreement."
"We're not talking about talking food and sustenance from the residents of Gaza, but any solution that could better the situation, to create a different security agenda," he asserted. "We have to send a message to Hamas—the kidnapping of Israeli soldiers will not result in the release of Palestinians prisoners or in terrorists' victories, but rather, Hamas will release all kidnapped captives and think twice about doing this (kidnapping Israelis) in the future. A humanitarian agreement in return for the humanitarian return of the captives."
Goldin said the families of the Israeli captives stay in contact with European and Americans officials.
"The State of Israel unequivocally does not do enough. We demand an official announcement stating that the condition for any agreement will be the return of our boys," he said.
According to Ilan Mengistu, Avera Mengistu’s brother, "Knesset members and the public today understand that claims made by our government, such as, 'this is a terrorist organization,' and, 'when you make noise about the subject it raises the price,' are only hiding the government's inactivity and deception."
When asked about the Qatari initiative, Mengistu said he is yet to receive an official update. "We received no information from the coordinator (for MIAs and POWs) or the state about progress in the manner. There is no doubt that there is incompetence and indifference to the subject in the government."
As an example, Mengistu talked about the director general of the World Health Organization's visit. "MK Pnina Tamano met with him and asked him why he did not meet with the Mengistu family; he replied that no one had contacted him, and that he is not familiar with the subject. This goes to show the government's utter lack of thought and action in dealing with the situation," he said.