Israel Renews Effort to Find MIA

Israel is renewing diplomatic efforts to learn the fate of missing IDF soldier Guy Hever, who disppeared without a trace 12 years ago.

Hana Levi Julian , | updated: 14:08

IDF soldiers on the Golan Heights
IDF soldiers on the Golan Heights
Israel news photo: (IDF)

Israel has been conducting quiet diplomatic efforts over the last few weeks to obtain information regarding Guy Hever, a soldier who went missing on August 17, 1997. Officials have asked Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov to request information from Syria regarding Hever's fate.

The soldier, who was a member of the IDF's Armored Corps, was last seen standing at the Katzabiya junction, after he left his base in the Golan Heights, a kilometer away from the Syrian border. 

Hever’s mother Rina met a month ago with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, who assured her that a contact person would be appointed to represent all MIA activities with Israeli security officials.

Rina Hever also met a few weeks ago with Foreign Ministry Director-General Yossi Gal. She requested that the Ministry raise the issue of her son’s fate in mediated talks with Syria. In response, Gal instructed diplomatic contacts to raise the issue of Guy Hever as a humanitarian issue in meetings with all foreign diplomats who have plans to visit Damascus.

According to the Israeli MIA website, Hever disappeared after having spent the previous day with his parents. On the day he disappeared, Guy left his base to return home, carrying only his weapon and keys.

It took Guy's parents three years to convince the IDF to list their son as missing in action, partly because he had previously been jailed for 21 days in military confinement after falling asleep during guard duty. Suspicions that Hever may have subsequently elected to go AWOL, or committed suicide, slowed down the government's response to his disappearance.

Despite offers by various organizations throughout the years totaling hundreds of thousands of shekels, Israeli officials remain clueless as to Hever's fate.