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Father Produces More Evidence Implicating UN in Kidnapping

The film of the kidnapping of the 3 IDF soldiers on the Lebanese border in 2000, simulcast in Lebanon and Israel this week, lacks the parts implicating the UN in the affair, says the father of one.
By Hillel Fendel
First Publish: 9/7/2006, 7:01 PM / Last Update: 9/7/2006, 12:54 PM

Chaim Avraham is the father of Benny Avraham, who was one of the three soldiers kidnapped and murdered by Hizbullah in October 2000. He produced a photograph today further implicating the UN in at least indirect involvement in the violent abduction.

Videotapes of the kidnapping, filmed by UNIFIL sources, have long been known to exist, though the UN originally denied it for months. Finally, the UN acknowledged that it had two tapes, but allowed the families and Israeli officials to see only an edited version - claiming it had to maintain objectivity.

The film broadcast publicly this week shows how Hizbullah terrorists trained for the kidnapping, and then the abduction itself: the arrival of the unescorted IDF jeep, explosions, terrorists running to the site, gunfire, the actual taking of two soldiers into a dark-colored car, and the car's get-away into Lebanon.

However, Chaim Avraham says, it does not show a white car that he knows took part in the kidnapping - a car that "stars," he told Arutz-7 today, in the original movie he and the other families saw a few years ago. "The car became stuck, and the movie shows how a UN vehicle towed it away. Inside that car were found items with the blood of my son and of Adi Avitan."

More significantly, in terms of the UN's involvement in the kidnapping, the car had two dismantled license plates reading "UNIFIL 2707" in the back. Avraham has long had a photograph of this, and he released it for publication today.

Why today? "Because it wasn't in the film that everyone saw on TV," he told Israel Radio today, and "[UN Middle East envoy] Terje Larsen called me and demanded to know why I was making claims against the UN - so I said I would bring a proof. The car wasn't in the film that everyone saw on TV, I said I would show proof, and here it is."

Avraham says he found, on the internet, a description of UNIFIL vehicle 2707: "The description shows clearly that the vehicle was used by the UN, was always on alert, and was responsible for monitoring Israeli patrols," Avraham said.

Arutz-7 has found, interestingly, that the site on which Avraham found this information (cached here) is a personal one belonging to a former Norwegian member of the UNIFIL force. The former peacekeeper - who later married a Lebanese woman and considers Lebanon his "second homeland" - uploaded a picture of the original UNIFIL 2707, with this description: "This old vehicle served as the platoon HQ [headquarters] immediate response vehicle. The crew were on a 2 minute state of readiness, and were tasked with tailing GSS and IDF patrols within [the Lebanese area] Blat, as well as reinforcing the CP if necessary."

Speaking with Arutz-7 today, Avraham did not wish to offer a conjecture as to how the UNIFIL plates found their way into the kidnapping car. He would say only that UNIFIL-marked cars were very familiar and unsuspicious to the Israeli forces. However, Avraham has long accused the UN of acting with partiality against Israel throughout the entire affair.

In Dec. 2001, when UN Secretary-General Kofi Anan received the Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo, the families of the soldiers were on hand to protest. They maintained that the UN soldiers turned a blind eye to the terrorists' preparations for the kidnapping. This appears to be verified in the film broadcast in Israel and Lebanon this week, which shows the terrorists training for the abduction and the kidnappers making their way through territory controlled by an Indian contingent of the UNIFIL force.

In short, Chaim Avraham feels, the full story of the extent of the UN involvement in the kidnapping of his son and two friends has not yet been told.

Hizbullah pretended for close to a year that the soldiers were alive, until the Chief Rabbinate of the IDF declared, based on evidence and testimony, that the three were dead. Their bodies were returned to Israeli in early 2004, together with kidnapped civilian Elchanan Tenenbaum, in exchange for over 400 Arab terrorist prisoners held in Israel.