JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon posted on Twitter that he was related to Hadar Goldin, the soldier thought to have been kidnapped by Hamas and later declared killed in action.
“Hadar Goldin is a member of my family. I have known him since he was born,” Yaalon tweeted Sunday morning, hours after the soldier’s family was notified of his death. “He and the fallen IDF fighters have gone to battle to restore calm and security to Israel. I embrace their families.”
Yaalon’s grandfather was the brother of Goldin’s great-grandmother. The publication of the relationship was censored until after Goldin was declared dead for fear that Hamas would use the information.
Yaalon knew Goldin’s father, Simcha, from childhood and had known Goldin since his birth. Yaalon once lectured at Goldin’s high school at his request, Ynet reported.
The Israel Defense Forces said early Sunday morning that it determined Goldin was killed in action. The determination was based on an analysis of what took place on the battlefield, a medical review, Jewish legal considerations and other considerations.
Goldin and his twin brother, Tzur, served at the same time as combat soldiers and trained together as officers. Hadar Goldin was engaged a few months ago.