STRASBOURG—With the opening ceremony of the Final Peace Exhibition, the European Parliament in Strasbourg paid respect this week to fallen soldier and victim of terror Hadar Goldin, whose remains are still being held captive in the hands of Hamas.
The ceremony took place just hours before the French eastern city was hit by a terror attack Tuesday night, and just before Hamas took responsibility for the death of the baby killed in an attack in Ofra.
“How horrendous and worrying that terror has claimed lives again, and how tragic and moving that the parents of Hadar Goldin live through the pain every day as the remains of their son are still being held captive in the hands of those who killed him”, said Member of European Parliament Bastiaan Belder, who co-hosted the exhibition with Vice-President MEP Ioan Paşcu, MEP Cristian Preda and MEP Anders Vistisen, in collaboration with the European Jewish Congress.
The exhibition, features some 20 fine art pieces by Hadar Goldin, was organized under the patronage of European Parliament Vice-President for Human Rights MEP Pavel Telička who stressed the need for the international community to step up efforts to bring to a close the Hdar Goldin humanitarian case after years of waiting for the family.
“We must all remember Hadar and continue fighting to preserve his memory and push to ensure his body is returned to his family for a proper and humane burial,” declared Moshe Kantor, President of the European Jewish Congress (EJC).
“This ceremony sends an important message that even in the face of terror, both in Strasbourg and in Israel, we will not be bowed or silenced and we will continue to condemn and abhor these cowardly murders,” he added.
Hadar’s parents, Leah and Simha Goldin, who travelled to Strasbourg for the opening ceremony, expressed appreciation for the strong support and continuous effort of the European Parliament for the case of their son and upholding universal humanitarian values.
“Hadar’s parents have fought tirelessly for something they should never have to: the right to bring Hadar home. Our moral duty is to stand with them”, asaid Nuno Wahnon Martins, EJC’s Director of EU Affairs.
The 23-year old Israeli Lieutenant Hadar Goldin was killed by Hamas two hours into a humanitarian ceasefire in 2014 and the terrorist organisation has ever since refused to return his remains for proper burial.
The European Parliament has taken a strong stance this year in both a resolution and hearing, calling for the remains of Hadar Goldin and Oron Shaul, and two other missing citizens, to be returned immediately and for the international community to live up to its responsibility and duty as trustee of international humanitarian law.
The exhibition will travel further through Europe, expressing a hope to bring Hadar home for final rest.