To Israel after 37 years returned to the remains of a serviceman Zechariah Baumel

Press service of the IDF

To Israel after 37 years returned to the remains of Zechariah Baumel serviceman, missing in the First Lebanon war during the battle near the village of Sultan Yacoub in 1982. In a secret operation involved the Israel defense forces (IDF), political intelligence Mossad and General security service of Israel (Shabak), according to

Zachariah Baumel served in the armored forces, was the commander of the crew. At the end of compulsory military service when Baumel was preparing to enroll at Hebrew University, its crew took part in the battle of Sultan Yakub.

11 June 1982, a few hours before the entry into force of the cease-fire, killed ten Israeli soldiers, three – Baumel, Yehuda Katz and Zvi Friedman – was missing. The fate of the two remains unknown.

The operation to recover the body of a fallen soldier was directed by the Colonel of the intelligence Agency. Preparation for surgery was carried out for several months and was carried out about a week ago, when participants received a “green light” to carry it out.

The grave with the remains were discovered by the Russian military “together with the Syrian partners.” On April 4 said the President of Russia Vladimir Putin during a meeting with the head of the Israeli government Benjamin Netanyahu.

“I must say that for a group of special forces that was doing it, it wasn’t easy,” said Putin (the text of the interview published on the Kremlin website). Netanyahu thanked the Russian President and gave his personal thanks family Baumela.

“Two years ago I approached you with a request for assistance in the search for missing Israeli servicemen in Syria, and immediately began to act. On my own behalf and on behalf of the Israeli people I want to thank you for the friendship, which is very important for us,” said Netanyahu.

Details about the search for the remains of a soldier are not given. “We can’t tell where they found the remains of Zechariah Baumel, – said the head of the press service of the IDF, Brigadier General Ronen, Manelis. – However, this operation demonstrates that we will never forget those killed in the battle of Sultan Yacoub”.

Manelis, stressed that the remains were returned without any negotiation or “deal”. He promised that the IDF will continue its efforts to bring missing servicemen home.

Before Putin’s statement about the role of Russian military in the discovery of the remains Baumela the government of Israel and the IDF refrained from messages for this reason. However, the head of the Jewish Agency for Israel “Sohnut” Isaac Herzog on April 3 expressed its appreciation to the Russian authorities through the Ambassador of Russia in Israel, Anatoly Viktorov.

Father of Zechariah, Jonah Baumel, did not live to see the return of the remains of his son. His mother, according to Netanyahu, about a hundred years. The military also left behind a sister. The funeral of a soldier will be held on the evening of 4 April at mount Herzl in Jerusalem.

In may 2016, Russia has returned to the Israel’s legendary tank – the only surviving of several captured by Syria during the First Lebanese war. This tank is the material witness of the battle near Sultan Yacoub, one of the most sad for the Israeli pages of the First Lebanon war.

Then the Syrians managed to capture four Israeli tank – the only such case in the war of 1982. Transmitted by the Russian tank is the only memory for the families of missing fighters, which until recently was related Baumel. Prior to the transfer of the Israeli war machine was an exhibit in the tank Museum in Kubinka.