Home > News > World
Friday August 8, 2014 MYT 2:25:02 AM
Friday August 8, 2014 MYT 2:26:39 AM
JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israel asked the Red Cross on Thursday to help recover the remains of two soldiers killed in Gaza, Israeli officials said.
They said the request was made to Peter Maurer, president of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), who met Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defence Minister Moshe Yaalon during an Egyptian-mediated truce that has temporarily halted the war in the Palestinian enclave.
Israel has lost 64 soldiers in the fighting, among them Shaul Oron and Hadar Goldin, who went missing on July 20 and on August 2 respectively.
Israeli authorities later declared them dead based on forensic findings. Israel says it does not know where Oron's body is but that the army recovered Goldin's partial remains, allowing his family to hold a funeral.
Hamas said hours after Oron's disappearance it had captured him alive, publishing his name and military identification number but no photographs. While acknowledging that its men ambushed Goldin's unit, Hamas says it has no information on his whereabouts.
An ICRC spokeswoman, Cecilia Goin, declined to confirm or deny the Israeli request.
"What we do normally, in every case of armed conflict, is offer our services to facilitate the transfer of mortal remains. But we don’t discuss publicly any specific case," she said.
A Hamas spokesman, Sami Abu Zuhri, declined to comment other than to say: "Such matters are handled in special channels, and of course not through the media, as Netanyahu knows full well."
In the past, Israel has twice released Arab prisoners in exchange for the bodies of soldiers slain by the Lebanese guerrilla group Hezbollah. Israeli authorities have shown unwillingness to bargain for Oron's and Goldin's remains.
"Hamas is certain that abducting a soldier is our soft underbelly," security cabinet minister Tzipi Livni said on Saturday. "The less we expose this belly, the less they will try to abduct soldiers in the future. We need to make this clear."
(Writing by Dan Williams and Nidal al-Mughrabi; editing by Andrew Roche)
Russian troops support rebel offensive in Ukraine, NATO says
Two protesters killed on anniversary of Egypt uprising as tension grows
Obama announces nuclear 'breakthrough' on landmark India trip
Suspected Boko Haram militants attack major Nigeria northern city
Russia's Lavrov says Moscow ready to push for peaceful solution in east Ukraine
Plenty of great fun and adventure pursuits in Adelaide
Being critical of made-in-Malaysia books is all about being supportive
Perak skipper believes Karathu right coach for team
'Anti-NSA' messaging service MegaChat debuts in beta version
Copyright © 1995-2015 Star Publications (M) Bhd (Co No 10894-D)