‘Missing’ soldier’s family urges Israel not to leave Gaza

Israeli Prme Minister - Benjamin Netanyahu

Israeli Prme Minister – Benjamin Netanyahu

JERUSALEM (AA) – The family of missing Israeli soldier Hadar Goldin has called on the Israeli government not to withdraw from the Gaza Strip before bringing him back.

“I demand the state of Israel not to leave Gaza until it brings my son home,” Goldin’s mother, Lea Hedva, was quoted as saying by Israeli daily Yediot Aharonot on Saturday.

“Don’t abandon my child or anyone else’s child who went to protect the State of Israel,” she said. “Everyone in our family are officers in the IDF except for me,” she said.

The soldier’s older sister Ayelet echoed a similar call.

“We won’t let them leave Gaza without bringing you home,” she said of the soldier.

Israel accuses Palestinian faction Hamas of abducting Goldin in the southern Rafah city shortly after a 72-hour humanitarian ceasefire brokered by the United Nations took effect on Friday.

Hamas, for its part, denied any knowledge of the abduction, arguing that the Israeli accusations aim to cover up what it described as “massacres” in the Gaza Strip.

On Saturday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that the Israel army will continue its military operations in the Gaza Strip even after Hamas’ tunnels are demolished.

Israel has been pounding the Gaza Strip for the past four weeks with the stated aim of halting rocket fire.

At least 1712 Palestinians have been killed and more than 9000 others injured in the ongoing Israeli attacks on the Gaza Strip since July 7, according to Palestinian medics.

According to Israeli figures, at least 63 Israeli soldiers have been killed in battles with Palestinian fighters in Gaza and three civilians by rocket fire.

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