Jumblat Says Handover of Israeli Soldier Body 'Precious Gift' to Netanyahu


Progressive Socialist Party leader ex-MP Walid Jumblat on Wednesday described the handover of the body of an Israeli soldier missing since 1982 as a valuable gift to embattled Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ahead of elections.

“In the game of nations that manipulates the fate of peoples, the handover of the body of an Israeli soldier via unknown mediators is a free but precious gift to Netanyahu for his elections,” Jumblat tweeted.

“A big salutation to the Syrian regime, the spearhead of Arab, regional and global defiance,” the PSP leader added sarcastically.

Israel announced earlier on Wednesday that the remains of a soldier missing since the 1982 Lebanon war had been returned to the country, bringing to a close a highly sensitive case for Israelis.

"It is one of the most moving moments in all my years at the head of the country," Netanyahu said in a televised address.

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

Israel's military declined to provide details on how the remains were retrieved, including where they were found.

Sergeant First Class Zachary Baumel had been missing since what is known as the Battle of Sultan Yacoub, said Israeli military spokesman Jonathan Conricus.

Israeli soldiers fought with Syrian forces in the battle on June 10-11, 1982 in the Lebanese village of Sultan Yacoub, near the Syrian border.

Anwar Raja, a Syria-based official with the Palestinian militant group PFLP-GC, said that insurgents excavated graves in the capital Damascus last year in search of the remains of three missing Israeli soldiers. He said that their remains had been transferred to Syria after the 1982 battle.

He also suggested that the insurgents might have handed over the soldier's body to Israel via Turkey.

Comments 1
Missing arturo 04 April 2019, 15:47

Who knew Bashar was such a nice sweet guy, and emotional too!!