Family of Hadar Goldin to speak in the European Parliament
BRUSSELS – On 20 June, the family of the murdered and abducted Israeli Hadar Goldin will for the first time speak in the European Parliament. During their visit in Brussels they will meet with several high-level officials at EU level and senior Members of the European Parliament in order to strengthen international support for the urgent humanitarian case of their son and to ensure his remains come home as soon as possible for a dignified burial.
In an unprecedented cross-party session at the European Parliament, Hadar’s parents Dr. Leah Goldin and Prof. Simha Goldin and Hadar’s twin brother Tzur, will share their personal testimony in front of senior Members of the European Parliament. Former Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, Professor Irwin Cotler, will also take the floor in his capacity as the family’s pro-bono legal counsel. During their visit, the family has already met with Vice-Presidents of the European Parliament and other senior Members who voiced strong support for their case.
The European Parliament in its resolution on Gaza in April of this year included the call for the return of the remains of Hadar Goldin and Oron Shaul and the release of Avera Mengistu and Hisham al-Sayed to be reunited with their families. In a declaration issued this week, the European Parliament Members reaffirm their call and state it is the international community’s moral responsibility to ensure a dignified solution is reached as soon as possible.
During the 2014 Gaza war, Hamas violated a UN-brokered humanitarian ceasefire and murdered 23-year-old Israeli Lieutenant Hadar Goldin and took his remains hostage. Almost four years since the murder, Hamas still refuses to return his remains to his family, in flagrant violation of International Humanitarian Law.
Dr. Leah Goldin, Hadar’s mother, said:
“Our son was not a victim of the war in Gaza, but a victim of a humanitarian ceasefire, brokered and sponsored by the United Nations. I ask the international community to be on the right side of history, to uphold its integrity and to enforce humanitarianism on those who deny and ignore it. The voice of Hadar calls out every day. I ask all those who can make a difference: please fix the injustice and help to bring Hadar home.”
Professor Irwin Cotler said:
“The intentional withholding of information by Hamas of abducted and murdered soldiers and captive civilians 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 U.N.- and EU supported mandated humanitarian ceasefire – is itself an egregious violation of the most fundamental principles of human rights and human dignity that underpin humanitarian law. The United Nations and its member states, have a responsibility to seek and secure the patriation of the remains of these two soldiers, lest the international community itself indulge a culture of impunity in defiance of U.N. norms themselves.”
The meeting’s co-host Bas Belder, ECR Member of the European Parliament said:
“It is an important signal that the European Parliament stands in solidarity with the Goldin family today. For any solution on Gaza, the return of the remains of Hadar, and the others, must be part of it. Those responsible must be held accountable by the international community.”
According to another co-host, ECR MEP Anders Vistisen, Hamas’ actions are in flagrant violation of international law and go against any concept of morality. “Hamas must without delay release the remains of Hadar Goldin and Oron Shaul and free Avera Mingestu and Hisham al-Sayed so they can be reunited with their families. The international community must stand with the victims and do its utmost to end their unspeakable suffering,” Mr Vistisen said.