With Red Cross mediation, Israel returns Syrian man’s remains to his family

Israel facilitates the transfer of a Syrian man’s remains back to his home country through the Quneitra border crossing in the Golan Heights after his body washed ashore in Israel a few months ago, the Red Cross says.

The International Committee of the Red Cross says it served as a “neutral mediator” between Israel and Syria, which are technically still at war with one another, in order to return the man’s body to his family for burial.

“The transfer today will allow the family to finally mourn their loved one in accordance with their custom and to allow the family to know of their loved one’s location,” the ICRC says.

A Red Cross spokesperson says the body was found in Israeli waters after the man drowned at sea. A DNA test was used to determine his identity, and his family was contacted. Following coordination between the two sides and the United Nations peacekeepers who serve along the border, the body was sent into Syria through the Quneitra crossing.

“We thank the authorities on both sides for their assistance in carrying out this action,” the Red Cross says.

— Judah Ari Gross

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