Israel returns remains of Jordan soldiers from 1967 war
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Israel returns remains of Jordan soldiers from 1967 war

Foreign Ministry says bodies found last month handed over to be ‘buried with dignity’ in their homeland

ZAKA rescue workers uncover the remains of soldiers in the East Jerusalem village of Sur Baher on March 9, 2017.  (Nati Shapiro, ZAKA Search and Rescue)
ZAKA rescue workers uncover the remains of soldiers in the East Jerusalem village of Sur Baher on March 9, 2017. (Nati Shapiro, ZAKA Search and Rescue)

Israel said on Thursday it had repatriated the remains of three Jordanian soldiers, 50 years after they perished in the 1967 Six Day War.

Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Michal Maayan said the bodies were unearthed by chance by workers in Jerusalem last month.

“Municipal workers discovered the remains of three Jordanian soldiers near the Sur Baher neighborhood where a Jordanian army base had been situated,” she said.

They will be transported to Jordan overland to be “buried with dignity” in their homeland, Maayan said.

Jordan held East Jerusalem — where Sur Baher is located — until June 1967, when it joined Syria and Egypt in a war against neighboring Israel.

By the end of the brief conflict, Israel had captured East Jerusalem and the West Bank from Jordan, the Golan Heights from Syria and the Gaza Strip and the Sinai Peninsula from Egypt.

Sur Baher sits right along the 1948 Armistice line where the Jordanian Arab Legion was camped out during its siege of Israel’s capital.

In 1980, the Jewish state annexed East Jerusalem in an act never recognized by the international community.

Israel says the whole city is its united capital, while the Palestinians claim East Jerusalem as the capital of their future state.

In June, Jewish Israelis will celebrate 50 years of the “reunification” of Jerusalem.

In 1994, Jordan and Israel made peace, following in the tracks of Egypt, which signed a treaty in 1979.

They remain the only two Arab states to have peace agreements with the Jewish state.

Times of Israel staff contributed to this report

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