Public Opinion Polls
November 29, 1999|
75.2% of Israelis:
"Don't Sign Syrian Deal Without
A Gallup poll of adult Israeli Jews commissioned by IMRA on Sunday, November 28, 1999, found that the overwhelming majority (75.2%) of those questioned, believe the Syrians must provide all the information in their possession regarding Israeli MIAs and POWs before the signing of any Israeli-Syrian accord.
Three Israeli soldiers were captured in a tank battle with Syrian and Palestinian forces near the Lebanese village of Sultan Yaqub in June 1982. Later that day reporters from Time magazine, AP and the Syrian media reported that three live Israeli soldiers were paraded on captured Israeli tanks through the streets of Damascus in a "victory march".
Since then, there have been many reports indicating that the men are being held under Syrian control and that some of the men may still be alive. Riffat Assad, the brother of the Syrian President, Syrian Defense Minister Mustafa Tlass, BBC reporters, Amnesty International (1988 Report), Syrian Jewish witnesses from Damascus and others, have all stated that Syria had the prisoners.
Recently, Israel Radio reported that Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister, Naif Masalha, had been told by Salah Ma'ani, the commander of the Syrian sponsored Palestinian forces in the Battle of Sultan, that live soldiers had been captured in the battle, and had been turned over to the Syrians.
The Syrians also have information regarding Israeli navigator Ron Arad, who was captured in Syrian controlled Lebanon by Shi'ite militiamen in 1986. Arad had been held with Syrian knowledge and approval, and was then "sold" to Iranian backed forces in 1988. The 1949 Geneva Convention (Section 2, Articles 11 & 12) hold Syria responsible for the men's fate.