‘Gazan strawberries worth more than an IDF soldier,’ says mother of slain officer over easing of Gaza imports

The Goldin family has repeatedly called on Netanyahu to abide by a 2017 cabinet decision not to give back Hamas terrorists’ bodies until IDF soldiers’ remains are returned.

By World Israel News Staff

Leah and Dr. Simcha Goldin, the parents of slain IDF soldier Lt. Hadar Goldin whose body is still being held by Hamas, took to Twitter on Wednesday to decry the government’s recent move to ease restrictions on imports and exports from Gaza.

“Every [Israeli] mother should know that Gazan strawberries and krembo are worth more than an IDF soldier or Israeli citizen,” they wrote in reference to the shipments of fruit and cream-topped, chocolate-covered cookies that Gaza recently sold to the Gulf States and Europe.

Israel’s Security Cabinet is meeting on Wednesday to discuss a possible long-term ceasefire with Hamas. IDF Chief-of-Staff Aviv Kochavi has expressed support for an arrangement with the terror group.

Hadar Goldin was killed in 2014 amid a U.N.-brokered ceasefire during Operation Protective Edge. Since then, Hamas has refused to return his body, along with the body of IDF soldier Oron Shaul. The terror group is also holding captive two living mentally ill civilians who crossed into Gaza on their own in 2014 and 2015 respectively, Avera Mengistu and Hisham al-Sayed.

The Goldin family has repeatedly called on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to abide by a 2017 Cabinet decision not to give back Hamas terrorists’ bodies until they release the soldiers’ remains.

Many IDF soldiers who risked their lives in Operation Protective Edge have also expressed their outrage over the government’s inaction.

On July 9, 2018, a small, plain box was placed at the gate of the prime minister’s residence. Inside it was 400 medals and battle pins awarded to officers, non-coms and soldiers for various battles they had fought for Israel.

Twenty reserve soldiers who fought in Operation Protective Edge went in person to Balfour Street in Jerusalem to deliver the box to the prime minister. Denied entry by the security guards, they proceeded to read a letter addressed to Netanyahu in which they expressed their anger and frustration over the fact that four years after the war ended, Shaul’s and Goldin’s bodies have not yet been returned.

“We, former soldiers who presently serve as reservists, enlisted knowing there is an unwritten agreement between the State and its soldiers that it is obligated to bring us home after the war, whether dead or alive,” the letter said.

On Aug. 5, 2018, Netanyahu arranged a private meeting with the four grieving families. Leah Goldin, left the meeting only half an hour after it began to tell the press that the whole purpose of the meeting was to silence the families shortly before the anniversary of Operation Protective Edge.