Father of Fallen Israeli Soldier Whose Body Is Held by Hamas Dies

Herzl Shaul, father of Sgt. Oron Shaul, suffered from cancer.

Herzl, Oron Shaul's father, at the Kerem Shalom crossing with Gaza, July 3, 2016.
Eliyahu Hershkovitz

The father of Sgt. Oron Shaul, a fallen Israeli soldier whose body is held by Hamas in Gaza, died on Friday after a battle with cancer.

Herzl Shaul, who was 54, left behind a wife, Zahava, and two sons, Ofek and Aviram. His funeral is set to take place on Sunday at 5 P.M. in Poria. 

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expressed his condolences to the family on Friday. He also vowed to continue making efforts to return Oron Shaul's remains to Israel. The soldier was killed in the 2014 Gaza war.

Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman, who met with Herzl Shaul a month ago, said that "Herzl did everything to bring his son Oron back, and it is unfortunate that he didn't get to see it before he died."

President Reuven Rivlin also conveyed his condolences. 

"We share in the pain of the Shaul family at the loss of Herzl, the father of the family, who was a tower of strength and determination in the struggle to return Oron home," he said. "In our last meeting, I hoped and wished that Herzl would be able to overcome his illness. At this difficult time, Nechama and I send our love and sympathies to Zahava and the children.

"The State of Israel will continue to do all it can to fulfil the obligation upon it to bring Oron to rest alongside his father Herzl."