Mother of MIA Shaul also upset by return of bodies

November 1, 2015  

Zehava Shaul, whose son Oron Shaul was killed in Operation Protective Edge, and whose body is being held by Hamas, expressed anger Sunday at the security establishment’s decision to hand over the bodies of terrorists to the Palestinian Authority for burial.

She joined the parents of Hadar Goldin, who was also killed in the war and whose body is also being held by Hamas, in demanding a tit-for-tat exchange.

“Don’t return them,” she said. “If they return terrorists’ bodies, it should be on the condition that Oron Shaul, my son, and Hadar Goldin, come back home,” she told Army Radio.

“They should know that this is the proper thing to do on their own, without my telling them,” she added. “Their behavior disappoints me.”

Israel handed over on Sunday the body of a terrorist who carried out a stabbing attack on the 185 Egged bus at the entrance to Jerusalem last month, injuring a soldier. It also gave over the body of a terrorist who stabbed a Border Police officer at the Kalandiya Checkpoint.

The government stated last month that it would not hand over bodies of terrorists, but then inexplicably caved in and did the opposite. Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon said that the bodies would be handed over as long as the funerals for them were held on a small scale and did not serve for incitement.

Hamas has held onto the bodies of Lt. Hadar Goldin and First Sergeant Oron Shaul as bargaining chips for over a year.

Goldin, a Givati Brigade officer, was killed on August 1, 2014 at the height of the operation after Hamas terrorists breached one of several ceasefires to attack his unit on the outskirts of the city of Rafah. Shaul was killed the previous month during clashes between Hamas infiltrators and the IDF in the Gaza Belt and his body was also captured by terrorists.

Goldin’s father, Simcha, spoke to the press earlier Sunday, categorically condemning the sudden government decision to reverse its ban on returning terrorists’ bodies for burial.

Goldin labelled the move “a moral distortion of the first order.” 

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