Will Trump pressure Hamas to return fallen IDF soldiers?

Bereaved families of fallen IDF soldiers petition White House to pressure Hamas to return soldiers' remains for burial.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Donald Trump
Donald Trump

Relatives of two fallen IDF soldiers whose bodies are being held by the Hamas terror organization in Gaza are calling on the White House to intervene on their behalf, in a bid to return the remains of the two soldiers to Israel for burial.

In August 2014, Oron Shaul and Hadar Goldin were killed and their bodies taken into captivity in the Gaza Strip by Hamas.

Since then, the remains of the two soldiers have remained in the Hamas-ruled Strip, along with Avera Mangistu, Hisham al-Sayed, Juma Ibrahim Abu Ghanima – three Israeli men with histories of mental illness who accidently entered the coastal enclave and were taken prisoner.

The White House has in the past expressed support for efforts by relatives to secure the release of the three young men and the remains of the fallen soldiers, with Trump administration special envoy Jason Greenblatt demanding Hamas return the five on humanitarian grounds.

“I call upon Hamas to return the IDF soldiers, Hadar Goldin and Oron Shaul, who were taken by Hamas. I also call on Hamas to release the Israeli civilians they are holding — Avraham Abera Mengistu, Hisham al-Sayed and Juma Ibrahim Abu Ghanima. This is a humanitarian issue and Hamas must return all Israelis.”

Now, the families of Hadar Goldin and Oron Shaul are calling on President Trump to personally intervene on behalf of their cause.

After the beginning of the Israeli American Council national conference on November 29th, the families launched a petition with the White House calling on President Trump and the US Congress to withhold all aid to the Palestinian Authority and the Gaza Strip until Hamas returns the Israelis held in captivity.

“In August 2014, the United States and the United Nations brokered a humanitarian ceasefire to a conflict between Israel and Gaza,” the petition reads.

“Shortly into this ceasefire, Hamas terrorists murdered three Israeli soldiers and abducted IDF Lt. Hadar Goldin into Gaza. He and fellow fallen soldier Sgt. Oron Shaul have been held by Hamas, in direct and standing violation of International Human Rights Law. We implore President Trump to bring closure to the ongoing consequences of the egregious violation of the humanitarian ceasefire brokered by the previous American administration. We request that the Trump Administration and Congress refrain from providing aid of any kind to the Palestinian Authority and Gaza until Hadar Goldin and Oron Shaul are returned to their families for proper burial.”

“We believe that president Trump and his administration have the ability to correct the failing of the Obama administration, and bring Hadar home,” said Hadar Goldin’s mother, Leah Goldin.

"The idea was first raised during the Israeli American Council national conference, to lobby the White House with a petition and ask for President Trump's help to bring back our soldiers."