Gantz: 'No Gaza solution without returning Hadar and Oron'

Bereaved father: 'I appreciate Chiefs of Staff and President, but I cannot hear Prime Minister promising same thing five times.'

Hezki Baruch ,

Gantz speaks to Goldins
Gantz speaks to Goldins
Hezki Baruch

Former IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz arrived at the alternative Operation Protective Edge ceremony by bereaved families and spoke with Prof. Simcha and Dr. Leah Goldin, parents of Hadar Goldin, who is held by the Hamas Islamic organization in Gaza.

The parents asked Gantz what he thought should be done to return Hadar and Oron Shaul. Gantz replied: "As prime minister, and not just as prime minister - as soon as I have the ability to influence, real and not declarative - I'll make sure that all efforts are made to restore Oron and Hadar."

Goldin's parents reminded Gantz of UN Security Council decisions on the matter and the statement that returning missing persons is a humanitarian requirement before any agreement.

Gantz said: "This is a significant issue that crosses political parties; it's not just a matter of protest or demonstration or expression of pain, which of course is all legitimate and very important. It's a question of practical tools."

Dr. Simcha Goldin repeatedly emphasized: "We must speak more firmly and more clearly that nothing's being done. I don't expect you to take it in a political direction. I expect you to take it in a policy and security direction within the election campaign."

Gantz explained that he sees the issue as of primary importance, but he cannot act: "There is no event where I talk about security matters where the subject of the POWs and MIAs doesn't come up. I'm not currently sitting on the intelligence and decision-making axis where we can talk in a more practical way."

Bereaved mother Leah Goldin answered him and said that everything is now in the open and that transfer of goods to Gaza can be seen at the crossings. Gantz replied: "There is no Gaza solution without returning Hadar and Oron."

At the end of their conversation, Simcha Goldin explained to Gantz why he would not attend the official ceremony: "I very much appreciate the Chiefs of Staff and the President, but I cannot hear the Prime Minister promising the same thing five times. I just can't."