Family of missing soldier, declared dead, calls on Hamas to return body

Marcy Oster

JERUSALEM (JTA) — The family of Oron Shaul, the Israeli soldier who was killed during the 2014 Gaza war, called on Hamas to present evidence that their son, who has been declared dead, is still alive as Hamas claims.

Shaul’s parents held a news conference on Sunday at their home in Poria Illit in the wake of the receipt of a letter Hamas claims was written by their son, begging them to convince the Israeli government to bring him home.

It is not the first time in the last year and a half since Shaul was declared dead after his body was abducted by Hamas that a letter said to have been written by their son has been publicized.

Shaul was said to have been killed, along with six other members of h is unit, when the military vehicle in which they were riding was blown up in Gaza City. He was declared dead by the chief IDF rabbi based on forensic evidence.

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His mother, Zehava, called on the prime minister to act to have Hamas return her son’s body and that of killed soldier Hadar Goldin to their families.

She called on Hamas leader Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh: “Show some firm proof about the situation of my son. The moment you present it, we will turn the country and the world upside down in order to get a deal.”

“It’s important for me to point out that we, the family, have no concrete and verifiable information proving that Oron is alive, dead or wounded. We are in a state of uncertainty,” Zehava Shaul said.  She reminded the country’s military and political leaders that: “You have the duty and the responsibility to bring the boys home, in any way and under any conditions, and as soon as possible.”

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