IDF soldier Lt. Hadar Goldin, feared kidnapped by Hamas

Lt. Hadar Goldin, 23, from Kfar Saba, a dual British-Israeli citizen, missing, feared kidnapped, IDF officer

The news out of Gaza and the border area is so bad that I’ve abandoned my Good News Friday post. Maybe next week we’ll be in a better mood to hear cheerful news.

The 72-hour humanitarian ceasefire held barely 2 hours when Hamas breached it and began firing rockets at the Kerem Shalom area on the Israeli side of the border. The IDF did not let this pass and fired back. In the ensuing battle, Hamas terrorists emerged from a tunnel together with a suicide bomber who exploded. Two IDF soldiers were killed and another soldier, Lt. Hadar Goldin of Kfar Saba, has disappeared, presumed kidnapped. The IDF are frantically searching for the missing soldier:

IDF soldier Hadar Goldin, an officer in the Givati Brigade, was abducted in the Rafah area of Gaza on Friday morning, in an attack perpetrated some 90 minutes after the onset of a truce, an IDF spokesman said Friday.

The attack, which included a suicide bombing and involved enemy gunmen emerging from a tunnel shaft, came at 9:30 in the morning, during the early hours of what was to have been a 72-hour truce, and may signal a significant escalation in the 25-day-old war with Gaza.

A suicide bomber and other gunmen engaged the IDF forces as they sought to decommission a tunnel. Shortly after the combined attack, it became clear to Israeli forces in the area that a soldier was missing.

“Everything that has happened since then in the Rafah area is on account of the attack,” said Lt. Col. Peter Lerner.

Hamas’s Moussa Abu Marzouk announced that it had captured the soldier, and claimed it did so before the ceasefire went into effect. A spokesman for the Hamas military wing in Gaza, however, denied any kidnapping.

Palestinian sources in Rafah reported the most intense barrages yet during this campaign, leading to the deaths of more than 50 Palestinians, with upward of 200 wounded. Egypt has reportedly shut all access to the Sinai Peninsula.

MK Omer Bar-Lev, a former commander of the elite Sayeret Matkal unit, said the militants will have likely tried to get the soldier out of the area via tunnels. “It’s a race against time… by the ground forces, to close off the area, and search house by house,” he said.

The army said in an official statement that it was “currently conducting intelligence efforts and extensive searches in order to locate the missing soldier.”

Lerner added that only a short while elapsed between the attack and the realization that a soldier had gone missing. He said the searches were being led by Col. Ofer Winter, commander of the Givati Brigade, and that the soldier’s family had been updated on the situation.

The incident came on the heels of a mortar attack Thursday evening, in which five Israeli soldiers were killed in the border region. The mortar attack brought the IDF death toll up to 61 since the start of the operation.

The names of the five soldiers killed Thursday were announced as: Staff Sergeant Noam Rosenthal, 20, an armored corps combat medic; Captain Omri Tal, 22, an armored corps combat officer from Yahud; Staff Sergeant (Res.) Daniel Marash, 22, an armored corps combat medic from Rishon L’zion; Staff Sergeant Shay Kushnir, 20, an armored corps combatant from Kiryat Motzkin; and Cpt. Liran Adir (Edry), 31, of Azuz.

A senior Israeli official slammed Hamas for again violating a humanitarian truce.

“It’s clear that Hamas has violated yet again another humanitarian ceasefire,” the official told The Times of Israel. “They broke commitments given to the United Nations secretary-general and to the United States secretary of state. This is obviously a flagrant violation of the ceasefire arrangement, which specifically allowed Israeli troops to remain in place and allowed us to continue to work on tunnels.”

WHY do we fall for Hamas’s bait every single time? WHY do we agree to these ridiculous ceasefires, humanitarian or not, when it is absolutely clear that they will breach those ceasefires within a very short time. What’s the point of agreeing to the ceasefire just to make a good impression on the outside world when that same outside world gives us no credit at all for observing the ceasefire or any other humanitarian act that we do to save the enemy’s civilians when they themselves don’t give a damn about their civilians?!

The Algemeiner (h/t Brian Goldfarb) adds that Hadar Goldin has dual British-Israeli citizenship. I wonder if that will move the British to act strongly on Israel’s behalf for a change:

Britain’s Channel 4 reported that the captured Israeli soldier is a British citizen and is related to Israel’s defense minister: “Channel 4 News understands that the soldier is from a family of British Jewish immigrants. It is also understand that he is a cousin – either second or third – of Israeli’s defence minister, Moshe Ya’alon.” Ynet further reported that Goldin got married a few months ago.

It was not clear whether the soldier currently presumed captured was wounded in the clash. Immediately after the fire exchange, artillery units began a heavy bombardment of targets inside the southern Gaza Strip.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, on Friday afternoon spoke with US Secretary of State John Kerry and told him that despite his joint statement with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, according to which assurances had been received from Hamas and the other terrorist organizations in the Gaza Strip regarding a ceasefire from 8 a.m. local time Friday morning, the Palestinians had unilaterally and grossly violated the humanitarian ceasefire and attacked Israeli soldiers after 9 a.m.

According to the Prime Minister’s Office, Netanyahu told Kerry that Hamas and the other terrorist organizations in the Gaza Strip will bear the consequences of their actions and that Israel would take all necessary steps against those “who call for our destruction and perpetrate terrorism against our citizens.”

On Thursday, a senior IDF officer deployed inside the Gaza Strip told the Israeli news website NRG that Hamas was dedicating many resources to capturing a soldier.

“Unlike its rocket attacks aimed at civilians, Hamas has tried to fight IDF soldiers, in an effort to capture a soldier and use them as a bargaining chip in a future prisoner release. Attacks that have been carried out by gunmen until now have been targeting soldiers and not communities. The reason for this is that the issue of prisoners is always in the back of the minds of Hamas officials and also because of a realization that harming civilians will hurt their public image,” the officer told Israeli news website NRG.

“There has never been an effort to attack the IDF’s line of defense near the Gaza Strip border as intense as this one. We realized the enemy can attack us from 360 degrees and at a depth ranging between 300 meters and one kilometer inside the Gaza Strip border,” the senior IDF official said.

I hope the IDF go in with all guns blazing, literally, and smash Hamas and their supporters to pieces. And if there are civilian casualties, so be it. We get no credit from the world for our efforts so we may as well be hanged for a sheep as a lamb. Why endanger our own soldiers to save the civilians whom no one cared about until the Israelis appeared?

I apologize for the rushed posting. It is almost Shabbat.  I hope we have a quiet and safe Shabbat and that we hear good news at the end of it.

I won’t be updating over Shabbat, but if any of you would like to provide updates, you are welcome to do so in the comments.

Shabbat Shalom everyone.

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10 Responses to IDF soldier Lt. Hadar Goldin, feared kidnapped by Hamas

  1. Yossie says:

    EoZ saysHamas accepted the “truce” specifically to kidnap a soldier

    Clearly the ceasefire provided the opportunity Hamas wanted to perform this operation. Their acceptance of the cease-fire – including the terms that IDF soldiers can keep their positions, which Hamas knew were near a hidden tunnel entrance – can only be described as a well-planned ruse for this attack, Hamas’ most sought-after prize. These were not conditions that Hamas would normally accept.

    Hamas’ claim that this occurred before the ceasefire is a lie, as the reports of heavy clashes in Rafah all started at 9:30, not 7:30 as Hamas says.

    John Kerry said that the ceasefire was a “moment of opportunity.” Hamas obviously agreed.

    Incidentally, I had noticed Lerner’s comment that “the searches were being led by Col. Ofer Winter, commander of the Givati Brigade”. Yesterday, I saw an interesting item in ToI where he described a miracle of Divine intervention

    He said that a predawn raid that was intended to make use of the dark as concealment was delayed, forcing the soldiers to move toward their objective as the sun was about to rise. The soldiers were in danger of being revealed in the light but, Winter recalled, a heavy fog descended to cover their movements until the objective was achieved.

    “Suddenly a cloud protected us,” he said, make a reference to the clouds that the Bible says protected the Israelites as they wandered in the desert. “Clouds of glory.”

    Only when the soldiers were in a secure position did the fog dissipate, he said.

    “It really was a fulfillment of the verse ‘For the Lord your God is the one who goes with you to give you victory,’” he said, quoting a passage from Deuteronomy.

    That verse (part of the prayer we say for the protection of Israeli soldiers) was also in the letter for which Winter was vilified by the anti-religious (including “Israeli Reform Rabbi” Uri Regev). For Hebrew readers, here’s a link to an article that includes a copy of the letter. It’s definitely not declaring “Holy War” as Electronic Intifada describes it (not linking that here, but not hard to find) – mostly motivational.

    We’ll all be praying especially hard for the return of Hadar ben Chedva Leah to his family.

    • anneinpt says:

      Yossie, thank you for your comment. it was sent to the spam folder because you had more than 3 links in it. I’ll have to adjust my settings.

      Thank you for the wonderful stories about the miracles that have been occurring for the IDF. There are plenty of other stories I have heard. I ought to collate them when I can get my head together.

      Edited to add: I remember in the last operation, Amud Anan (Pillar of Defence), the Rabbinate were criticised for eh exact same thing, for motivating the soldiers with prayers and blessings. The anti-religious called this “religious coercion” and the antisemites called it fascism or some such. They can’t abide the thought that the Jews ARE a special nation and we DO have Divine protection. I just don’t understand how they can be so blind.

      Sadly, Lt. Goldin was pronounced dead earlier tonight (at 2 a.m. to be precise, an hour ago) by the Chief Rabbi of the IDF and the time of his funeral will be announced later. Which implies that his body has been found. I’m not sure if his body had been abducted, as with Sgt. Shaul Oron, or if he was so damaged in the suicide bombing that he couldn’t be identified).

      I’m not sure whether one can say Baruch dayan emet and Baruch Hashem in the same sentence, but that’s what I want to say. Terrible news for the family but surely better than not knowing?

      • Yossie says:

        We rarely hear about the miracles that happen within the battles themselves. For some of the others, one only has to open their eyes and be sensitive, for instance as R’ Lazer Brody points out in his Israel’s open spaces

        For a listener who isn’t familiar with Israel, it sounds like the missile landed someplace similar to the Sahara Desert or the Grand Canyon. But in tiny Israel, open spaces are parking lots and vacant sandlots adjacent to residential areas

        He counts the amazing heroism of the border policeman who stopped the car bomber near Beitar Ilit last Sunday (of which amazing new footage came out today) as another miracle.

        And of course the grenade that stopped the bullet is an obvious one.

        I can’t post more or I would go over the 3 link limit. 🙂

        (BTW, I tried another image in a link in a comment in the “Kerry’s delusional ceasefire” thread on Erev Shabbat and it came up blank again.)

        • anneinpt says:

          AGAIN it went into the Spam!! I don’t know what’s going on. I apologize. Luckily this time I saw it and rescued it immediately.

          Thank you for these wonderful stories. I’ve read them myself but I haven’t had time to post them, so this is great for my readers.

  2. Earl says:

    This outrage was as predictable as night following day. Hamas operates from basic Islamic orthodoxy- the Koran and the ahadith clearly stipulate and permit Mohammed’s dictum that “war is deceit”. Hamas is at war with the State of Israel; ergo, Hamas will effect any degree of deceit during its course. As has been noted here and Israel Matzav, the only solution is to bring total war to Hamas.

    Why this basic truth is so hidden from the WH, State and the Israeli Cabinet is anyone’s guess. But V.S. Naipul offers some insight: in our modern age, we in the West have lost our capability of understanding “pure belief”. To Lt. Goldin’s detriment, regrettably…

    • anneinpt says:

      Earl, I agree with Brian here in that, regardless of the Administration, the Israeli cabinet certainly knows full well the enemy that we are fighting. Our problem is to convince the rest of the world who stubbornly refuse to believe that when someone says they want to kill us, they really mean it. Even though they’ve seen it happen on 9/11, 7/7 and on the streets of London when Sgt. Rigby was beheaded in broad daylight.

      They prefer to think it is all Israeli war-mongering, and that what an average Israeli wants to do every morning is to get up, have breakfast and kill some Palestinian children for sport.

  3. Brian Goldfarb says:

    Earl, I don’t think the basic truth you note is hidden from this Israeli cabinet, not when all the way from Lieberman and Bennett to Lapid and Livni are 100% behind the effort, even if it means eliminating Hamas from Gaza. From virtually everyone else, yes, but (given that the US Dept of Defense has approved a resupply of the IDF – a full week before the news broke, and how’s that for intelligence security?), I guess the only ones that really matter are the Israeli Security Cabinet.

    Here in the UK, parts of the media are reporting that Israeli sources are saying that they are approaching the end of their primary objective: the destruction of the tunnels. I would also suspect that despite all the bleating about “civilian casualties” (Hamas fighters don’t necessarily don combat fatigues), they have also killed at least 1000 or even 1500 Hamas fighters (this re-balancing is what happened last time as well), and so are close to achieving that objective as well.

    We all need to bear in mind all the comments on what Western reporters in Gaza daren’t report if they wish to stay alive.

    We will know when the IDF start withdrawing troops from Gaza. As far as a cease fire is concerned, Israel will decide when that happens, not anyone else.

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