Netanyahu to Pence: Help bring our boys back from Gaza

Diplomatic source reveals PM, VP Pence discussed efforts to return remains of fallen IDF soldiers to Israel from Hamas captivity.

Mordechai Sones,

Pence shakes hands with Netanyahu in the Knesset
Pence shakes hands with Netanyahu in the Knesset

A senior official told Arutz Sheva that the meeting between Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and US Vice President Mike Pence Monday evening included discussion on the issue of the return of the bodies of Oron Shaul and Hadar Goldin from Gaza.

According to the source, Netanyahu told Pence that it was the duty of the United States to join Israel's efforts to return the remains of the two IDF soldiers, as well as Israeli civilians held by the Hamas terrorist organization.

Hadar Goldin and Oron Shaul were both killed in August 2014 while fighting Hamas terrorists in the Gaza Strip. Their remains were taken into captivity by Hamas, which has demanded Israel release jailed terrorists as a precondition to any negotiations for the return of the soldiers' bodies.

During the conversation, the Prime Minister expressed his appreciation to Vice President Pence and noted the special relationship between the United States and Israel, and thanked the Trump administration's firm support of Israel.

The two discussed major challenges in the region, including efforts to renew negotiations with the Palestinian Authority - despite their boycotting the United States - as well as dealing with Iran's expanding influence in Middle East and its nuclear program.

Netanyahu told Pence that the United States should clarify its seriousness regarding dismantling the nuclear agreement. "The European countries should take seriously the words of President Trump on the need to amend the nuclear agreement," Netanyahu told Pence.

The two also mentioned their many years of friendship. Vice President Pence told Netanyahu that he remembers how he arrived in Washington in 2009 and encountered sharp criticism from the Vice President's colleagues in Congress.

Pence said that even then he told Netanyahu, "I support you and support Israel, you know that you have a friend here, and this has been proven today." He also said that his and Netanyahu's picture of that meeting now hangs in the official residence of the Vice President.

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