(August 28, 2019 / JNS)
The parents of Israel Defense Forces’ soldier Hadar Goldin, whose remains have been held captive by Hamas since “Operation Protective Edge” in 2014, met on Thursday with U.N. Secretary General António Guterres at the world body’s headquarters in New York to press for escalated international efforts in securing their son’s return.
World Jewish Congress president Ronald S. Lauder and former Canadian Justice Minister Irwin Cotler accompanied Leah and Simcha Goldin at their meeting with the secretary general.
Goldin was killed and his remains taken on Aug. 1, 2014, during a declared ceasefire between Israel and Gaza, rendering the abduction a violation of international humanitarian law.
In January 2018, the U.N. Security Council held a special session on International Humanitarian Law and the repatriation of the remains of Goldin and his fellow soldier, Oron Shaul, who was abducted and murdered by Hamas 10 days beforehand.
According to the Goldin family, Guterres underscored during their talks his full commitment to U.N. Resolution 2474, the Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict–Missing Persons in Armed Conflict, and said that the United Nations demanded the return of the soldiers’ remains unconditionally.
He also said that the United Nations would closely monitor every report emerging from Gaza regarding the missing soldiers and the two Israeli civilians who were captured in the subsequent year-and-a-half after crossing over the border.
The secretary general intends to raise the issue during his meetings next month with relevant state leaders during the U.N. General Assembly. He will also instruct his special envoy to the Middle East, Nickolay Mladenov, to operate in accordance with U.N. Resolution 2474.
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