The parents of IDF soldier Hadar Goldin, whose remains have been held captive by Hamas since Operation Protective Edge in 2014, met on Thursday with United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres at the UN 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 captured on August 1, 2014, during a declared cease-fire between Israel and Gaza, rendering the abduction a violation of international humanitarian law. In December 2017, the UN 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 prior.
According to the Goldin family, Guterres underscored during their talks his full commitment to UN Resolution 2474, the Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict - Missing Persons in Armed Conflict and said that the UN demanded the return of the soldiers’ remains unconditionally. He also said that the UN 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 with relevant state leaders during the UN General Assembly next month. He will also instruct his special envoy to the Middle East, Nickolay Mladenov, to operate in accordance with UN Resolution 2474.
The World Jewish Congress is committed to working for the release of the Israelis being held captive by Hamas. In June 2017, the WJC presented a petition to International Red Cross President Peter Maurer containing more than 11,000 signatures demanding that pressure be placed on Hamas to release the captives.