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US envoy meets family of Israeli soldier held in Gaza

May 27, 2017 at 11:56 am

US Special Representative for International Negotiations, Jason Greenblatt in Ramallah, West Bank on 25 May 2017 [Issam Rimawi / Anadolu Agency]

Jason Greenblatt, US President Donald Trump’s Middle East Envoy, has met with the family of the Israeli soldier being held in the Gaza Strip, Hadar Goldin, Arab and Israeli media revealed yesterday.

According to Quds Press and Israeli website NRG, sources told Israeli television Channel 2 that Greenblatt had met with Goldin’s parents Leah and Simcha Golden.

The Israeli TV station said that Greenblatt expressed his anger with Hamas’ refusal to return the remains of the Israeli soldier to his family. He said this is “inhuman” and said that Hamas is using the remains of the soldier’s body to “extort” Israel.

Second Lieutenant Hadar Goldin

Second Lieutenant Hadar Goldin

Read: Israel changes listing of soldiers from ‘killed in action’ to ‘captured’

Greenblatt expressed his “hopes and prayers” that the remains of the Israeli soldiers will be returned, NRG news website said.

On Monday, during a meeting between Trump and Israeli President Reuven Rivlin, the latter asked the former to work towards returning the Israeli soldier being held in Gaza.

Goldin, along with another soldier Oron Shaul, were captured by armed Palestinian fighters during the 51-day Israeli offensive on Gaza in 2014, when more than 2,250 Palestinians were killed and more than 11,000 were wounded.

Hamas, who have been controlling Gaza since 2007, said that it had taken them prisoner and had suggested on several occasions that they are alive.