Body Of Soldier Zachary Baumel Missing Since 1982 Lebanon Battle Brought Home

Body Of Soldier Zachary Baumel Missing Since 1982 Lebanon Battle Brought Home

The body of an Israeli soldier captured during the First Lebanon War has finally been returned to Israel 37 years after he went missing in action, in an operation believed to have been supported by Russian Federation.

As the Baumel case takes prominence in the media, and Netanyahu uses his platform to promote it as an Israeli victory, opponents will find it more hard to raise criticisms or the corruption cases that have been hounding the premier, Mendel predicted.

The return of the remains of soldiers missing in action is a highly important issue in Israel, which has fought repeated wars with its Arab neighbors since its 1948 founding.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's main electoral rival, former IDF chief of staff Benny Gantz, told an audience in Tel.

Baumel's parents, NY natives who moved to Jerusalem, launched a years-long search and rescue campaign to find their son.

Baumel's father, Yona, who died in 2009, led an global campaign to discover whether his son might still be alive.

His belief was fueled by initial reports in the Syrian media, which then spread to worldwide outlets including Time magazine and the Associated Press, that Baumel was alive and had been paraded through Damascus as part of a "victory march". "Gen. Moti Almoz informed [Baumel's] family just a few minutes ago", he said.

Baumel's father launched an global campaign to locate his son, and his search brought him all over the world, interviewing hundreds of people who may have had information. He traveled the world in order to locate any piece of information about his missing son.

Baumel, a USA citizen from Brooklyn, New York, went missing in action along with five other Israeli soldiers near the Lebanese village of Sultan Yacoub.

"We will not cease until all our soldiers have returned home - First Sergeant Yehuda Katz, First Sergeant Zvika Feldman and all those missing in action and whose place of burial is not known".

"This operation is the result of major diplomatic efforts that we will speak about one day", he added.

In a 2003 article for the Jerusalem Post, Zachary's father Yona wrote, "To this day we continue to receive reports that Zecharia is alive".

Osnat Haberman, Baumel's sister, told Netanyahu: "I told my mother years ago that it was not enough to want and to search. All the time, when you're not thinking about something else, you are thinking about your son", he added.

But last September, Russia said its military had helped to locate the remains of Israeli MIA's in territory held earlier by the Islamic State in Syria.

Cases of missing soldiers have a powerful emotional and political resonance in Israel, where military service is compulsory for most Jewish men.

"Handing over the remains of the Israeli soldier through unknown mediators is a free and valuable gift to Netanyahu in his elections", Joumblatt tweeted.

Some 20 Israeli soldiers were killed in the battle. US Army analysts described it as "a costly failure".

They were moved from Yarmouk Palestinian refugee camp on the outskirts of the Syrian capital and taken to Israel via Turkey, he said.

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