The United Nations Security Council on Friday held a special session on the plight of civilians and the remains of Israeli soldiers held in Gaza.
The United States and Ukraine, members of the Security Council, co-hosted the “Arria-Formula" session, a special informal meeting of the Council.
The session focused on Israeli citizens Avera Mengistu and Hisham Al-Sayed, and slain Israeli soldiers Hadar Goldin and Oron Shaul. Representatives from over 35 UN member states took part in the meeting with many addressing the session and speaking of the importance of this humanitarian cause.
Dr. Leah Goldin, the mother of Hadar, an Israeli soldier whose remains are being held by Hamas, addressed the Council.
“Our son was not the victim of a war, he was the victim of a ceasefire. A UN-sponsored ceasefire. There has been only painful and brutal silence from the UN,” Dr. Goldin said.
“Three years after he was taken, our son’s grave remains empty. Not one member of the UN has taken real action to return our sons. Only words. My country acted within UN rules. I want my son back,” she continued.
Demanding that the UN continue to act until the Israelis held are returned, Dr. Goldin noted that “Hadar was not only our son, but a brother to his siblings. He also left behind a fiancé after he was taken thirty days before he was supposed to be married.”
Speaking at the session, Israel’s Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon urged the Council members to “Look at Leah Goldin in the eyes. Explain to this mother why she has had to wait for three long years and still has no answers. Why her family is still forced to wait to give Hadar the respect and dignity of a proper burial that he so deserves.”
The Israeli Ambassador then demanded that the Council not “allow this mistreatment of Israelis go on one day longer.”
Ukraine’s Ambassador to the UN, Volodymyr Yelchenko, said, “We will do all it takes, again and again until justice prevails and Hadar, and the others taken, are returned home to their families.”
Professor Irwin Cotler, the former Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, and an international human rights lawyer, also briefed the Council.
Prof. Cotler noted, “The denial of information about captive civilians, abducted and murdered soldiers by Hamas is a standing violation of international humanitarian law. And more: the refusal to patriate the remains of murdered soldiers - one of whom, Hadar Goldin, was abducted and murdered in violation of a UN-mandated humanitarian ceasefire - is itself an egregious violation of the most fundamental principles of human rights and human dignity that underpin humanitarian law.”
(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)