‘My Son Was a Victim of a UN Ceasefire,’ Mother of Fallen IDF Soldier Tells Security Council Session on Israelis Abducted by Hamas in Gaza
The mother of a fallen Israeli soldier whose remains are being held by Hamas condemned the “painful and brutal silence from the UN” over her son’s fate at a special Security Council meeting on Friday.
Dr. Leah Goldin’s son, Hadar, was killed in battle while serving in the IDF during the 2014 Gaza war and his body was seized by Hamas. On Friday, Goldin spoke at gathering convened by the Israeli Mission to the UN under the “Arria Formula,” a procedure that allows private citizens and NGOs to engage directly with the Security Council.
The session focused on the plight of two Israeli citizens currently held captive by Hamas, Avraham Mengistu and Hisham al-Sayed, as well as the remains of both Goldin and his IDF comrade Oron Shaul, whose remains are also in the possession of the Gaza-ruling terror group, despite repeated pleas from both families.
Delegates at the meeting heard an impassioned plea from Goldin. “Our son was not the victim of a war, he was the victim of a ceasefire,” she declared. “A UN-sponsored ceasefire.”
Goldin continued: “There has been only painful and brutal silence from the UN. 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 stressed.
Israel’s UN ambassador, Danny Danon, implored council members, “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.”
Danon 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 justice minister and attorney general of Canada, and an international human rights lawyer, also briefed the council.
He 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.”