And Then There Were 5: Majdi Halabi Is Found


UPDATE 9:30 am Israel time Friday:

How is it possible that the world has so lost its moral compass? 

The last 24 hours here in Israel have seen Palestinian terrorist “rocks”, arson, mortars, and missiles. Israeli-Jewish worshipers have been assaulted and injured; Israeli agricultural crops have been set ablaze; Israeli communities have been pummeled; Israeli men, women, and children have been forced to huddle in bomb shelters. All of this and the world says nothing.  

Yesterday, Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations, Ron Prosor, send a letter to the U. N. Secretary General Ban ki-Moon and the president of the U.N. Security Council criticizing the U.N.’s abject failure to condemn Hamas for its ongoing rocket “campaign of terror [that] continues to strike our homes, schools, and hospitals.”

Prosor went on to state that the people of southern Israel have become “semi-permanent residents of bomb shelters”, and to declare that the Security Council “has slept through more than 12,000 rocket attacks against Israelis over the past decade.”

As usual, the U.N. response to Prosor’s letter has been no response. The world just doesn’t care what happens to Israelis. 

TODAY’S BLOG

In all the excitement over the release of Gilad Shalit last year, most people forgot that Israel still had six soldiers who were classified as “missing” (even though some of them were known to have been captured alive and are now presumed dead):

Zecharia Baumel, Yehuda Katz, and Tzvi Feldman:

Left to right: Bauman, Katz, and Feldman

These three soldiers went missing after the battle between the IDF and Syrian and Palestinian militias on June 11, 1982 at Sultan Yakub, Lebanon. According to eyewitness accounts, they were captured alive and shortly thereafter paraded through the streets of Damascus. They have not been seen since.

Ron Arad:

Ron Arad: a picture taken by one of his terrorist captors.

The most famous of Israel’s missing in action, Arad was captured on October 16, 1986 when his plane was shot down over Lebanon. He was subsequently brought to Beirut where pictures of him were released by his captors–as they attempted to obtain money for his release. He is now believed to have died at some point between 1989-1991, though no concrete information has ever been received.

Guy Hever:

Guy Hever-- who disappeared on the Golan Heights.

This IDF soldier disappeared somewhere in the vicinity of his Army base on the Golan Heights on August 17, 1997. No confirmed trace of him has ever been found–though there have been intriguing reports of his having been seen in a Syrian prison in Damascus. In February of 2007, a Syrian organization called “The Resistance Committees for the Release of the Golan Heights” claimed to be holding Hever.

Majdi Halabi:

This Druze soldier went missing on May 24, 2005 while trying to hitchhike from his home in Daliyat al-Carmel to his Army base near Tirat Carmel. He was last seen purchasing a can of soda at a hitchiking station. Based on a telephone call received by the Halabi family in July of 2008, it was believed that Halabi might be alive and being held by Palestinian terrorists near Shechem. A $10 million dollar reward was offered for information about Halabi, but no further information was forthcoming.

One of the many signs around Dalyiat al-Carmel that offered a reward for information about Majdi Halabi.

Until two weeks ago.

In a stunning and tragic discovery that was not made public, the partial remains of a body still having remnants of IDF clothing, were found hanging from a long rope in a tree in the forest beside Dalyiat al-Carmel by a civilian volunteer who was clearing trees burned in the Carmel fire disaster (there is a grisly youtube of the discovery which I include here, but encourage you to watch at your own discretion).

Subsequent DNA testing during the last two weeks has proved that the remains are those of Majdi Halabi. The circumstances of his death, however, remain unknown–murder or suicide are the obvious theories (though Halabi’s personality, actions before disappearing, and evidence at the scene would seem to forcibly argue against the latter).

Quite ironically and coincidentally, your humble servant happened to be in Dalyiat al-Carmel yesterday eating lunch at one of the two restaurants on main street operated by the Halabi family–just as the public announcement was made about the identification of the remains.  Of course, we offered our condolences to the Halabis who were in the restaurant. They then closed the restaurant and along with the entire Druze community went to the home of Majdi’s parents to offer their condolences.  

Last night on Israeli TV, Majdi’s mother Fahima and father Nazmi spoke of how they had never lost hope that one day there son would be found alive. In typical Druze fashion Nazmi then added: “We believe in fate, and I hope we will have the strength to continue raising our family.”

And then there were 5.

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This entry was posted in News and tagged 12000 rockets, abject failure, ablaze, agricultural crops, ambassador, arson, august 17 1997, Ban Ki-Moon, beirut, bomb shelters, campaign, captors, children, communities, condolences, dalyiat al carmel, damascus, decade, dna, druse, druze, eyewitness accounts, fahima, forest, Gilad Shalit, golan heights, guy hever, hanging, homes, hospitals, huddled, Israel, Israeli, isreal, Jewish, june 11 1982, karmel, lebanonon, main street, majdi halabi, men, missiles, missing, money, moral compass, mortars, murder, nablus, nazmi, october 16 1986, Palestinian, partial remains, pummeled, release, restaurant, reward, rocks, ron arad, rope, schools, semi-permanent residents, shechem, shot down, suicide, sultan yakub, syrian prison, terror, terrorist, trace, tree, tzvi feldman, UN, united nations, update, we believe in fate, women, world says nothing, worshipers, yehuda katz, zecharia baumel. Bookmark the permalink.

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