Hadar Goldin’s parents talk of accepting son’s death

The parents of 2nd Lt. Hadar Goldin say that, after being presented with convincing medical evidence, they accepted that their son was killed in Gaza — even though Israel does not possess his whole body.

“I wanted a second opinion,” says Leah Goldin, of the conversation Saturday night when the IDF Chief Rabbi Rafi Peretz told the family their son Hadar — feared kidnapped in Gaza on Friday morning — was dead. “And as I heard myself saying the words, I realized how impossible that was.”

The two are being interviewed by Channel 2 News.

Leah says she was assured by Peretz as well as by the military pathologist, who “gave us the medical information that showed he was not alive.”

“The meeting was very difficult,” Father Simcha Goldin says. Leah adds, “The children didn’t want to believe it, they lashed out a bit.”

The parents add that the army had promised to continue making efforts for their son, not elaborating but perhaps referring to retrieving the rest of Hadar’s body.

Simcha praises the fellow Givati officer, Lt. Eitan, who dashed into the tunnel to try to thwart the gunmen who had seized Hadar, and who found the materials and remains that enabled the experts to certify Goldin was dead. “That’s the quality of camaraderie… He risked his life. He knew what was waiting [in the tunnel].”

Leah says their children had wanted Eitan to come to the funeral and help carry Hadar’s casket, but he was still inside Gaza.

The two add that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called them before the funeral to express his condolences. “It was a very emotional call,” admits Leah, adding that the premier spoke with Hadar’s twin brother, Tzur, who was broken after receiving the news, “as a bereaved brother [himself].”

Netanyahu lost his brother Yonatan in the 1976 Entebbe Operation to rescue Israeli hostages in Uganda. 

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