Copyright 2003 Jerusalem Post
HEADLINE: Families Speak up on Soldiers Missing in Lebanon
BYLINE: TOVAH LAZAROFF
"This is really a tempest in a teapot," said Yona Baumel, who was sleeping
when his cousin called him to report there might be news about his son
Zachary Baumel, Yehuda Kartz and Zvi Feldman went missing in the Sultan Yakoub battle in Lebanon 21 years ago.
The IDF said Thursday it is investigating reports that a farmer in southern Lebanon had found the skeletal remains of IDF soldiers.
Baumel noted that this isn't the first time that his son's death has been reported. "I cannot get too excited unless they prove something," he said.
Yehuda Kartz's sister said she too feels the need to wait for real evidence that this was her brother's body before believing the news. She said she hopes that the report refocused attention on the plight of these three young men and the other soldiers missing in action.
The 21st anniversary of the Sultan Yacoub battle recently passed and no one paid any attention, she said. "But this story is in our minds and hearts 24 hours a day," she added.
As American citizens, the Baumels have been able to go where the other families could not. They have logged thousands of kilometers, interviewed hundreds of witnesses and informants, and collected information from sources around the world. They have also lobbied Israeli, American, and European public figures.
Eventually, in 1994, the need to do something more led to the establishment of a non-profit society, the International Coalition for Missing Israeli Soldiers (ICMIS).
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