TZUR Goldin vividly remembers August 1, 2014, the day his world was turned upside down. A three-week battle in the southern part of the Gaza Strip came to a head towards the end of Operation Protective Edge in 2014.
“I got a message that there had been an attack in Rafa and that two soldiers were killed and one was kidnapped,” Tzur told The AJN this week.
“We started a counterattack and I was directed straight to the tunnel where a soldier had been taken, but then soon after I got a different order from my commander to go back to the border with Israel.
“As I got close to the border, a hand rested on my shoulder and they told me to relax for a while instead of going back. It was then that I understand that the kidnapped soldier was my twin bother Hadar.”
Several days later, it was revealed that Hamas fighters ambushed Hadar Goldin and two other soldiers. They took Hadar’s body through the tunnel from which they emerged and, more than two years later, have refused to release it.
Tzur and his family now travel the world trying to put pressure on the Israeli government to do all it can to have Hadar’s body returned.
He said the solution isn’t a prisoner exchange, because the family doesn’t want to see murderers and terrorists released from jail. They’d rather take advantage of a unique opportunity.
“Hamas is internationally isolated by the Arab and Western world and they are in a very, very bad shape and bad position to make any demands.
“Gaza needs to be rebuilt and the citizens of Gaza need to be rehabilitated,” Tzur said.
“Netanyahu has to use political pressure to turn Hadar from an asset to a liability for Hamas.
“He must make a demand, not request, that the most basic humanitarian step be taken to bring a soldier home.”
Tzur also said that Netanyahu should call on all countries that support Israel to cut Hamas’s funding until they bring his twin brother home.
While in Australia to speak at United Israel Appeal (UIA) functions in Sydney and Perth he called on the community to help.
“Raise awareness because this is something that needs to be shouted out loud,” he said. “This is the greatest form of cruelty and barbarism to not give us Hadar back.
“You should speak to your leaders, because Australia is a very strong and powerful country in politics.
“Ask your representatives what is being done, because this is the most simple request.”
Tzur will speak on Monday, February 27 in Sydney. For more information, visit www.uiansw.org.au.