'Is my brother worth less than a deal for strawberries?'

Twin brother of Hadar Goldin blasts the Israeli government's policy of 'arrangements' with Hamas.

Hezki Baruch ,

Panel on bringing back captives at Hebrew University
Panel on bringing back captives at Hebrew University
Hezki Baruch

A special political-social panel on the topic of "Solidarity – Bringing the Boys Back from Gaza" was held on Tuesday evening at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

The event, which took place at the Faculty of Law building on the Mount Scopus campus, was attended by Tzur Goldin, twin brother of IDF soldier Hadar Goldin and Aviram Shaul, brother of IDF soldier Oron Shaul. The bodies of both Hadar and Oron have been held by Hamas in Gaza since the 2014 counterterrorism Operation Protective Edge.

Also in attendance were MK Penina Tamanu Shata (Blue and White), social activist Avi Yalou and Attorney Michal Cotler-Wunsh.

Goldin said at the panel, "Every family in Israel sends its sons to the IDF in order for them to return home. There is a heavy issue here. It is the duty of the state to give the feeling of security to every citizen. There is terrorism here against the families [of the missing soldiers]. There is a terrorist organization here that uses every means to disintegrate Israeli society through the families of the missing soldiers."

"Five and a half years ago, during Operation Protective Edge, we consciously decided that we lost to terror and abandoned the fighters and this is done blatantly every day. It is inconceivable that every day there is an ‘arrangement’ [with Hamas]. We’re talking about an upgrade of the Gaza Strip," Goldin charged.

"There's a gas pipeline that went under the radar last week and was arranged to enter the Strip. Are Hadar or [Avera] Mengistu or other IDF soldiers who were left behind worth less than a gas pipeline or a deal for strawberries? Is the Qatari money which pays the salaries to Hamas officials in Gaza worth more than Hadar and Oron?" Goldin wondered. "The most blatant point that needs to be said here is that our children and our pride in our country and the justification for being here are being harmed. There is a government here that does not miss an opportunity to abandon soldiers and blatantly does so."

Goldin added, "We in the family do not think that Hadar should be returned at all costs. We say sharply and clearly that they should not be abandoned at all costs and this is what has been done for the past five and a half years. Freeing terrorists is not the only way to release prisoners and missing persons. In two months, US President Trump is going to introduce his ‘Deal of the Century’. Will the captives and missing persons be included in the deal? We are in an election campaign and, in my opinion, all the parties should make the issue of the return of the boys a top priority in their campaigns and present a ready alternative."