Body of soldier missing since 1982 battle in Lebanon returned to Israel

After some 37 years, the Israeli military has retrieved the remains of Staff Sgt. Zachary Baumel, who was killed in the 1982 First Lebanon War in the Battle of Sultan Yacoub against the Syrian army.

“His body is in Israel. The body has been identified. It has been verified,” IDF spokesperson Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus tells reporters.

“Head of the IDF Human Resources Directorate Maj. Gen. Moti Almoz informed the family just a few minutes ago,” he says.

Baumel was one of three IDF soldiers whose remains were never recovered following the Battle of Sultan Yacoub, a skirmish between the Israeli and Syrian armies in Lebanon’s Bekaa valley.

Conricus refuses to comment on the specifics of how the remains made their way back to Israel, but says they were flown back on an El Al plane.

— Judah Ari Gross

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