Amnesty International Reports
Amnesty International Report 1988
Reports were received in mid-1987 suggesting that three Israeli soldiers who disappeared" in 1982, following their capture after a battle in eastern Lebanon, were alive and in Syrian custody. However, the precise whereabouts of the three men, Zachary Baumel, Zvi Feldman, and Yehuda Katz - was not known.
Update 7 December 1993
Lebanon: Update on the cases of Zachary Baumel, Zvi Feldman, and Yehuda Katz, three Israeli soldiers missing in Lebanon since June 1982.
Three Israeli soldiers missing in Lebanon since June 1982 remain unaccounted for. There have been conflicting reports about their fate, including some suggesting that they were captured alive and taken to Syria. At the end of November 1993 the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) gave the Israeli authorities part of the identification tag of one of them, but their fate remains unknown. Amnesty International continues to work for their fate to be clarified. Sergeant Zachary Baumel (born 17 November 1960), First Sergeant Zvi Feldman (born 29 December 1956), and Corporal Yehuda Katz (born 18 July 1959) went missing at the battle of Sultan Yaqub, in the Beqa Valley in Lebanon, between Israeli and Syrian forces on 11 June 1982. Palestinian fighters are also reported to have been involved in the battle. The three Israeli soldiers were part of the crews of the two tanks that were hit and disabled during the battle. Zachary Baumel and Zvi Feldman were in one tank together with First Sergeant Hezi Shai, the commander, and First Sergeant Ariel Lieberman. All four are reported to have left their tank safely and to have dispersed in an attempt to escape from the battleground. Hezi Shai was captured the night of 11 June and held by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine - General Command (PFLP-GC), a Palestinian armed group allied to Syria and led by Ahmad Jibril. Hezi Shai was returned to Israel on 20 May 1985 as part of a prisoner exchange between Israel and the PFLP-GC, which had held him in secret until mid-1994. Ariel Lieberman was captured on 12 June by Syrian troops. He was returned on 28 June 1984. It is not known what happened to Zachary Baumel and Zvi Feldman. Yehuda Katz was in a second tank, together with Captain Zohar Lifschitz, the commander, who was killed in the battle, and two other soldiers who managed to escape safely from the battlefield. It is not known what happened to Yehuda Katz. Reports speak of Israeli prisoners of war (POWs), or their bodies, being brought to the village of Aita al-Fakhar, near Sultan Yaqub, on 11 June 1982. They are alleged to have been paraded there by Palestinian fighters, apparently including members of [the PLOs] Fatah (the largest Palestinian armed group) and the Saiga (another Palestinian armed group, allied to Syria). According to several media accounts, on the afternoon of 11 June 1982 a captured Israeli tank with a number of Israeli POWs on it was paraded through Damascus. The Saiga was apparently responsible for organizing the parade. Syrian officials are reported to have described the men as Israeli POWs who were members of the tank crew.