Hadar Goldin and Oron Shaul, the two fallen soldiers whose bodies remain in the hands of Hamas, have been recognized by the IDF as captives missing in action.
The move comes as part of a renewed effort to recover the bodies of the fallen soldiers, which have been held by Hamas since the 2014 Gaza conflict.
Shaul was killed in July 2014 when the armored personnel carrier he was riding in struck a mine. Hamas terrorists later captured his body, which they have held for ransom, demanding Israel free terrorists in exchange for the transfer of the body.
In August 2014, in the midst of a US-negotiated ceasefire, Hamas terrorists emerged from a terror-tunnel and struck an IDF position, killing three soldiers. The body of Goldin, who was among the soldiers killed in the attack, was never recovered by the IDF.
The bereaved families have pressed the Israeli government to bring back the bodies of the fallen soldiers, though Hamas has indicated it would demand a steep price for their return.
As part an effort to raise awareness and to regain momentum for their efforts, the Goldin and Shaul families requested that the army reclassify the soldiers from simply fallen to “captured and MIA”.