| Mr. CAMPBELL. Mr. President, today I continue to voice
my support for the Middle East peace process and my work on
behalf of soldiers Missing in Action and Prisoners of War.During
the last Congress, I introduced the Missing Service Personnel
Act, provisions of which were signed into law to restore critical
Department of Defense procedures for identifying and recover-
ing POW/MIAs. The Act ensures that our government is and will
do everything in its power to return those lost during times of
conflict. Last month, I introduced S. 484, the 'Bring Them Home
Alive Act of 1999' which creates a significant incentive for
foreign nationals to return any possibly surviving American
Mr. President, today I introduce legislation that continues
my support for POW/MlAs and assists our Israeli allies in their
efforts to learn the fate of several soldiers who were overtaken by
Syrian forces in June 1982. 1 am pleased to be joined in this effort
by Senators Torricelli, McCain, Kerry of Massachusetts, Smith
of New Hampshire, Lugar, Coverdell, Lieberman, Lautenberg,
Ashcroft, Kennedy, Schumer, Allard, and Santorum. This bill is
a companion to legislation which Congressmen Lantos, Gilman,
and 65 other members introduced in the House.
Reports indicate that three soldiers of an Israeli tank crew
were captured by Syrian forces at the 1982 battle of Sultan Yaqub
in northern Lebanon.These men were later paraded through the
streets of the Syrian capital of Damascus.They were never seen
nor heard from again.Zachary Baumel,an American citizen and
sergeant in the Israeli Defense Forces was one of those men.
For over sixteen years, the Syrian government and the
leadership of the PLO have failed to cooperate in the effort to
determine their fate.In 1993, Yasser Arafat produced the most
tangible link to the missing men, returning half of Baumel's
identification dog tag.For the last five years, however, no
additional information has been forthcoming.
The bill I introduce today requires the State Department to
raise this issue with the Syrian government and leaders of the
Palestinian Authority and provide the Congress with a report on
the information that has been uncovered. It also requires that
Palestinian and Syrian cooperation in this effort be a factor in the
consideration for future U.S. assistance.
This legislation is a targeted approach to address the unique
and compelling merits of this case in which an American-born
Israeli soldier and his comrades remain unaccounted for in a time
of war. As Americans know all too well, the bitter legacy of
missing soldiers and POWs can haunt a nation and interfere with
efforts to build better relations between former enemies. Clearly,
resolving the issue of the MlAs can only strengthen American
efforts to make Middle East peace into a reality.
This is the first week of the Jewish month of Nissan-the
month of the Jewish holiday of Passover-the ancient festival
that celebrates freedom. I can think of no time that is more
appropriate to propose this legislation, and to hopefully begin a
process that will help to resolve the fate of Zachary Baumel and
his comrades after so many years.
I ask unanimous consent that the bill be printed in the Record
and I urge my colleagues to support passage of this bill.
There being no objection, the bill was ordered to be printed
in the Record, as follows:
| S. 676|
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of
the United States of America in Congress assembled,
SECT1ON 1. CONGRESSIONAL FINDINGS.
Congress makes the following findings:
(1)Zachary Baumel, a citizen of the United States serving in
the Israeli military forces, has been missing in action since June
1982 when he was captured by forces affiliated with the Palestin-
ian Liberation Organization (PLO) following a tank battle with
Syrian forces at Sultan Ya'akub in Lebanon.
(2) Yehuda Katz and Zvi Feldman, Israeli citizens serving in
the Israeli military forces, have been missing in action since June
1982 when they were also captured by these same forces in a tank
battle with Syrian forces at Sultan Ya'akub in Lebanon.
(3) These three soldiers were last known to be in the hands
of a Palestinian faction splintered from the PLO and operating in
Syrian-controlled territory, thus making this a matter within the
responsibility of the Government of Syria.
(4)Diplomatic efforts to secure their release have been
unsuccessful, although PLO Chairman Yasir Arafat delivered
one-half of Zachary Baumel's dog tag to Israeli government
(5)In the Gaza-Jericho agreement between the Palestinian
Authority and the Government of Israel of May 4, 1994, Palestin-
ian officials agreed to cooperate with Israel in locating and
working for the return of Israeli soldiers missing in action.
SEC. 2. ACTIONS BY THE SECRETARY OF STATE.
(a)Responsibility of Secretary of State: The Secretary of
State shall raise the matter of Zachary Baumel, Yehuda Katz, and
Zvi Feldman on an urgent basis with appropriate government
officials of Syria, Lebanon, the Palestinian Authority, and with
other governments in the region and other governments else-
where which in the Secretary's view may be helpful in locating
and securing the return of these soldiers.
(b)Cooperation as a Factor in Determinations of Assistance:
Decisions with regard to United States economic and other forms
of assistance to Syria, Lebanon, the Palestinian Authority, and
other governments in the region, and United States policy to-
wards these governments and authorities, should, take into con-
sideration the willingness of these governments and authorities
to assist in locating and securing the return of these soldiers.
SEC. 3. REPORTS BY THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE.
(a)Initial Report: Ninety days after the date of enactment of
this Act, the Secretary of State shall submit a report in writing to
Congress detailing the Secretary's consultations with govern-
ments pursuant to section 2(a) and the changes in United States
policies made pursuant to section 2(b). The report shall be a
public document and may include a classified annex.
(b)Subsequent Reports: After the initial report to Congress,
the Secretary of State shall submit a report in writing to Congress
within 15 days whenever any additional information from any
source relating to these individuals arises. The report shall be a
public document and may include a classified annex.
(c)Congressional Recipients of Reports: The reports to
Congress identified in subsections (a) and (b) shall be made to the
Committee on International Relations of the House of Represen-
tatives and to the Committee on Foreign Relations of the Senate.