Bunker (illustrative)
Bunker (illustrative)Morguefile

The remains discovered in a bunker on the Golan Heights are those of a Syrian soldier, police said Thursday – not of missing IDF soldiers Guy Hever or Maji Halabi, as had been rumored.

Police said Thursday that an examination of the remains found in the bunker, found on the former border between Israel and the Golan (Israel's 1948 armistice border) by a worker at Kibbutz Amir in the northern Galilee. The bunker was in a fenced off area thought to be a minefield, which is one reason why the remains, which police said have been there since at least 1967, were never found.

Officials from the Bomb Squad and the police forensics unit examined the remains in the bunker, removing the soldier's skeleton, as well as other items. Among the items found was an old gas mask, indicating that the Syrians may have been planning to use gas in their attacks on Israel during the Six Day War.

The Syrians never got the chance, though, because the bunker – at a site known as Tel Hamra – was liberated by the IDF on June 9, 1967, on the fourth night of the Six Day War.

Police said that the age of the bones, the uniform, and the equipment found with the remains were typical of a Syrian soldier of the era. With that, they said they would not comment on rumors that the remains were those of IDF soldiers Guy Hever, missing since 1997, or Majli Halabi, missing since 2005. However, a police source said that “the certainty that the remains belonged to a Syrian soldier was 99.9%. The rumors about the missing soldiers are false, without question.”