No agreement with Hamas without return of citizens and MIA soldiers: Israeli official

An Israeli government official stressed Sunday that there would be no broad agreement with Hamas on the rehabilitation of Gaza without the return of the remains of IDF soldiers Hadar Goldin and Oron Shaul and the living Israeli citizens Mengistu and al-Syed.

“The ongoing talks are focused on one goal: A ceasefire. A complete ceasefire will lead the Israeli side to reopen the Kerem Shalom border crossing and renew extended fishing permits,” the official said.

He added that “there is no broad agreement on the table that does not include a solution to the issue of returning our citizens and the bodies of our soldiers being held in Gaza.”

No agreement with Hamas without return of citizens and MIAs Israeli official

Goldin and Shaul’s bodies were not recovered from the battlefield following Operation Protective Edge in 2014 and are considered by the IDF to have been killed in action based on forensic evidence.

Ethiopian-Israeli Abera Mengistu independently crossed the security fence into Gaza on September 7, 2014, shortly after the war ended.

He is considered “to be held against his will by Hamas in Gaza.”

The family of Hisham al-Syed, an Arab-Israeli of Bedouin origin, reported him missing on April 20, 2015.