Several family members who lost sons during war with Hamas showed their solidarity with the Goldin and Shaul families in their bid to secure their sons’ return to Israel as part of the Israel-Turkey deal.

The Prime Minister’s Office rejected on Monday evening claims made by the Goldin and Shaul families, who, as part of their struggle to secure the return from Gaza of the bodies of their sons, said Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his government promised that their sons, Hadar Goldin and Oron Shaul, will be part of the reconciliation agreement with Turkey.

The bereaved families believe that the deal, which is due to be signed on Tuesday, should be conditional upon Turkey exerting its influence over Hamas to bring the missing soldiers back to Israel. Currently, the agreement is devoid of any condition relating to the soldiers’ fate.

Shalu and Goldin family protest outside PM's Residence (Photo: Gil Yohanan)
Shalu and Goldin family protest outside PM’s Residence (Photo: Gil Yohanan)


At a press conference at their protest tent outside the prime minister’s residence in Jerusalem, Zehava Shaul, Oron’s mother, stressed her dissapointment with the government’s promises over the years which thus far have failed to yield results. According to her, the Israeli government repeatedly promised that no agreement would be forged with any country without the return of Hadar and Oron as a prerequisite to its signing.

“Unfortunately they failed to keep their promise, because the agreement is about to be signed, and after the cabinet approves it, I don’t know when we’ll see Oron and Hadar,” she lamented. “I need the support of the entire nation of Israel so the prime minister knows that everyone is with us, and we all, as one, ask to bring back Oron and Hadar. Every mother in Israel should know—today it’s me here, tomorrow it could be you, or anyone else.”

Photo: Gil Yohanan (צילום: גיל יוחנן)
Photo: Gil Yohanan (צילום: גיל יוחנן)


She went on to slam the prime minister directly, citing personal conversations which indicate that signing the newly-formed deal would amount to a backtrack on prior pledges.

“I spoke to him personally last Thursday and he promised us there won’t be no agreement with Hamas and Turkey,” she said. “There’s no point in waiting on the prime minister’s promises. He doesn’t take the bereaved families into consideration. The conclusion I have reached is that Prime Minister Bibi only takes care of Gaza, not his own soldiers.”

Leah Goldin’s statements appeared to buttress those of Zahava Shaul as she claimed, “In every meeting with Benjamin Netanyahu, he kept promising Hadar and Oron were the condition for every negotiation. We put our trust in our leaders in the hope that they would find a solution.”

A statement by the PMO, however, denied that any such promises were made vis-a-vis the Turkey deal. “(The prime minister) could not have promised (to include this condition in the deal) since the deal is with Turkey, while and Hamas is not party to it,” the statement read.

It also pointed out that Netanyahu had invited the Goldin and Shaul families to meet with him on Tuesday, together with the UN Secretary-General Ban-ki Moon who is currently visiting Israel.

The families were joined on Monday afternoon by parents of fallen soldiers, including Sarah Shemesh, the mother of Ohad Shemesh; Mazal Gidoni, the mother of Liel Gidoni; the parents of Sean Carmeli; the parents of Daniel Pomerantz; the parents of Barak Refael Degorker; Nava Cohen, the mother of Liran Cohen; Rohama Davino, the mother of Moshe Davino; and the parents of Erez Sagi.

Ilan Sagi, Erez’s father, said, “The aim is to show our support for the Goldin family and Shaul family. Their pain is our pain. We believe that just as the Israeli government knows how to send them to war, it knows how to bring them back.”

“It cannot be that two years after Protective Edge, there is no voice or answer and the government awards the prize (of humanitarian aid) to Hamas while we are struggling for our existence,” he continued.

As reported by Ynetnews