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Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Syrians claim to have Guy Hever

I am in Boston again.

A Syrian group claims to be holding Guy Hever, an IDF soldier who went missing during a stint in reserve duty on the Golan Heights in August 1997.

According to YNet, which first broke the story Tuesday night, a previously unknown Syrian group has offered to swap Hever for nine Syrian prisoners - who are residents of the Golan Heights - who are being held in Israeli prisons. The letter from the Syrian group, which calls itself "The Resistance Committees for the Liberation of the Golan Heights," says "Don’t think that your millions of dollars will bring back your soldier missing from the Golan. You know very well how you can get him back." Four of the nine prisoners whose release has been demanded have been held by Israel for 'more than 22 years' and two of them (it's not clear from the article whether that's two of those four or two of the remaining five) are held in solitary confinement.

The IDF is not getting all excited about this, claiming that this is not the first time that someone has claimed to be holding Hever, and that this claim is 'rather weak.' Hever, an artillery corps soldier, first disappeared on August 17, 1997. He was last seen at his army base at 9:30 a.m. on that day, and since then was never heard from again. When he left the base, he was dressed in his IDF uniform, dog tags, a prisoner document and a key ring, and he was armed with a long-cylindered gun.

Forgive my cynicism, but apparently, this Syrian group has not heard that IDF soldiers can be sold for a lot more than nine prisoners these days.


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