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Copyright 2001 Jerusalem Post
The Jerusalem Post Newspaper : Online News From Israel

November 2, 2001

(12:30) IDF Rabbi Rules: Kidnapped Soldiers 'Fell in Action'

The three soldiers kidnapped by Hizbullah forces along the Lebanese border in October 2000 will be considered to have fallen in action, OC Chaplaincy Corps Brig.-Gen. Yisrael Weiss ruled this morning.

There has been no word on the conditions of St.-Sgt. Binyamin Avraham, Sgt. Adi Avitan, and their Beduin guide, St.-Sgt. Omar Suwayed since their capture last year.

Evidence indicates one or more of the three was seriously wounded in the kidnapping operation.

The Avraham and Avitan families have accepted Weiss's ruling and began sitting shiva - part of the traditional Jewish mourning ritual - this morning.

The Suwayed family is currently meeting with Weiss in Kafr Salame in the Galilee. The Muslim family has not yet decided whether they will agree with Weiss's ruling on the fate of Omar Suwayed, Army Radio reported.

The IDF's chief chaplain consulted Muslim religious authorities during efforts to determine the status of the three soldiers.

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