Published: Sun, April 07, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

Netanyahu receives personal effects of soldier missing in action in 1982

Netanyahu receives personal effects of soldier missing in action in 1982

Russia has transferred the remains of Israeli tank battalion soldier Zachary Baumel, who had been missing in action for 37 years after the Battle of Sultan Yacoub in Lebanon, over to Israel, the Russian Defense Ministry told reporters on Thursday.

The IDF's Military Intelligence Directorate initiated Operation Bittersweet Song, and following a month's long process which was completed a few days ago, Baumel's body was located, identified, and recovered.

Netanyahu said he notified the family that Baumel's remains will be flown back to Israel.

Zachary Baumel's remains were returned to Israel this week.

Israel had returned the tank of the missing crew in Lebanon through a Russian mediation, according to Al Arabiya's correspondent.

Baumel and two other soldiers were believed to have been killed in battle, although there was speculation that they were captured by the Syrian military and brought to Damascus.

In 2018, Russian Federation - which Netanyahu is due to visit for talks with President Vladimir Putin on Thursday - said its troops in Syria had been trying to locate the remains of Israeli soldiers killed in previous conflicts.

The families of the other soldiers who have been missing from the Sultan Yacoub battle, Yehuda Katz, and Zvi Feldman were informed that Baumel's remains had been located.

Yoni and Miriam Baumel, hold a picture of their son Zachary Baumel, z”l, who was taken as a prisoner of war in 1982, in Jerusalem on July 07, 2003.

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Leah and Simcha Goldin, the parents of Lt. Hadar Goldin, who was killed on August 1, 2014, during Operation Protective Edge in Gaza in a violation of a UN-brokered ceasefire, said in a statement issued on Thursday that "The pain and anguish of losing a son and not knowing his fate is indescribable".

Hours earlier the Israeli leader met in Moscow with Putin, who described how Russian and Syrian forces had located Baumel's remains, and that it had been a hard task.

A video released by the ministry showed the Israeli prime minister and Russian armed forces chief Valery Gerasimov laying flowers on a casket covered with an Israeli flag.

The First Lebanon War was launched by Israel's Ariel Sharon to push back against elements of the Palestine Liberation Organisation operating in the country's south.

Four other Israeli soldiers were captured that day and 20 were killed. In 2016, it was returned to Israel by Russian Federation.

In 1993, half of Baumel's dogtag was passed along to then-prime minister Yitzhak Rabin by PLO leader Yassar Arafat, giving Israeli Military Intelligence the evidence necessary to determine where Baumel's remains were located in Syria.

Speculation is that the mission was assisted by Russian Federation, which has said previously that it helped Israel search for missing soldiers' remains in Syria.

After 37 years, Israeli-American Sgt.

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