Israeli and American bereaved families are petitioning US President Donald Trump to demand that the Palestinian Authority secure the return of two slain Israeli soldiers whose remains have been held by Hamas in Gaza since Operation Protective Edge in 2014.
Hadar Goldin and Oron Shaul both went missing during the war between Israel and Hamas. The IDF has long said the two were killed during combat and that Hamas took their bodies. The terror group has never confirmed their deaths.
According to a press release issued by the families, a new petition is calling on Trump not to accept any demands made by the PA before the two bodies are returned.
On May 21 a copy of the petition will be provided to the US Consulate in Jerusalem, with the request that it be delivered to President Trump, who arrives the next day.
According to the organizers, during Operation Protective Edge, “67 Israeli soldiers were killed in action, including Israelis, Americans and a Frenchman. All of Israel’s soldiers killed in action [during the operation] have been laid to rest, except for Hadar Goldin and Oron Shaul.
“The families of fellow soldiers killed in action alongside Goldin and Shaul appreciate President Trump’s willingness to undertake the difficult task of trying to help achieve peace in the Middle East, that might ensure that Israelis and Palestinians can live in peace […] bereaved families, US citizens and community leaders urge President Trump to include on the agenda for upcoming meetings a demand that Hamas return Israel’s fallen soldiers Hadar Goldin and Oron Shaul,” the statement said.
Evie and Stuart Steinberg, American parents of lone soldier Max Steinberg, who was also killed during the operation, have joined the petition, according to Sibyl Silver, president of the Jewish Heritage Foundation.
The petition has until June 19 to garner the 100,000 signatures necessary to obligate the White House to respond.
A petition has also been launched on the change.org website.