Resolution 2474 calls for the return of people and soldiers missing during conflict and war; Hamas currently holding remains of two IDF soldiers killed in 2014, as well as two Israeli civilians; Resolution calls for “thorough, prompt, impartial and effective investigations and the prosecution of offenses linked to missing persons due to armed conflict.”
The United Nations Security Council adopted a resolution on Wednesday calling for the return of persons missing or abducted during conflict or war. The resolution was unanimously voted in by the Council and calls “upon parties to armed conflict to take all appropriate measures, to actively search for persons reported missing, to enable the return of their remains and to account for persons reported missing without adverse distinction.”
There are currently the remains of two Israel Defense Forces (IDF) soldiers killed in battle in the Gaza Strip, as well as two living Israeli citizens. Staff Sgt. Oron Shaul and Lt. Hadar Goldin were both killed during 2014’s Operation Protective Edge and Hamas, the governing, terrorist organization of the Gaza Strip, has used their remains as a playing card, mostly in its demands for the release of incarcerated Palestinian terrorists. Avera Mengistu, a mentally ill man and Hisham al-Sayed are both being held in Gaza with no breakthrough in mediated deals for their return to Israel.
Terrorist organizations like Hamas and Hezbollah use abduction and the holding of fallen soldiers’ remains knowing that in Jewish tradition the dead’s remains must be buried within 24 hours then to grieved by their families for seven days. Deals in the past have included the release of dozens to hundreds of convicted terrorists in exchange for Israel’s fallen or captured. One of the most recent deals made was for Gilad Shalit who was kidnapped by Hamas in 2006. Close to 500 Palestinian detainees and prisoners were released in the exchange for the IDF soldier.
The UN’s resolution 2474 directly addresses soldiers or persons missing from prior and existing conflicts, and demands states “take measures, as appropriate, to ensure thorough, prompt, impartial and effective investigations and the prosecution of offenses linked to missing persons due to armed conflict.” This means that Hamas and Hezbollah must by international law return the bodies and Israeli civilians and are subject to prosecution.
According to President of the International Committee of the Red Cross, Peter Maurer, there are over 45,000 people registered as missing through the Central Tracing Agency.
Photo: Shutterstock.com/Alexandros Michailidis