May 29, 2024
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Members of UN Security Council Demand Return of Remains of Hadar Goldin and Oron Shaul

On Friday, Former Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, the Honorable Irwin Cotler, addressed a special session of the United Nations Security Council on International Humanitarian Law and the repatriation of the remains of Hadar Goldin, abducted and murdered by Hamas in violation of a U.N.-mandated humanitarian ceasefire. Security Council Member nations—including the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, Canada, Russia, France, Italy, Sweden, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Ethiopia, Senegal and Uruguay—expressed their solidarity with the Goldin family and demanded the return of the remains of Hadar Goldin and Oron Shaul. Additional guests of the session included emissaries from the missions of Japan, Peru and Israel. The nations stood side by side in calling for Hamas to return the remains of the two IDF soldiers it holds captive.

The historic hearing was co-hosted by the United States and Ukraine, in the face of what Cotler described as Hamas’s “abiding disrespect and denunciation of the U.N. itself, its values, institutions and norms.”

“We are pleased by the significant number of delegations from around the world at the meeting, who highlighted that the refusal to repatriate the remains of murdered soldiers is an egregious violation of the most fundamental principles of human rights and human dignity that underpin humanitarian law,” said Cotler. “The next step is for this group to work with the Secretary-General and international organizations to secure the return of the remains, lest the international community itself indulge a culture of impunity in defiance of U.N. norms.”

“As a mother, I am extremely grateful that this world body and these world leaders gave us their time to listen to my appeal,” movingly expressed Dr. Leah Goldin, mother of slain soldier Hadar Goldin. “We believe the U.N. can compel Hamas to return my son and Oron Shaul’s remains to their home for a proper burial.”

Hadar Goldin was an Israeli Defense Forces soldier who was killed in August 2014, and whose body is still held ransom by Hamas. Goldin was killed during a cease-fire from Operation Protective Edge, in which the IDF went into Gaza to destroy terror tunnels and missile launching sites. The ceasefire, brokered by the United Nations and the United States and agreed upon by both Israel and Hamas, handicapped Goldin’s ability at the time of his ambush to return fire and defend himself.

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