The IDF has decided to renew searches for missing IDF soldier Guy Hever, who disappeared without a trace in August 1997.
The decision, announced on Tuesday, to renew the search was made by the head of the IDF Manpower Branch, Gen. Orna Barbivai.
Searches will begin in areas where Hever was last seen, “with the hope of turning up some findings that will shed new light on the case,” the IDF said.
“The IDF will continue to do everything it can in order to bring a solution to the case of the missing soldier and find out his fate,” the IDF said, adding that it has a moral obligation to bring home every missing soldier.
The IDF did not say if the decision was made due to any new piece of intelligence that has emerged.
Hever, a native of Nahariya, was last seen at his army base on the Golan Heights on the morning of August 17, 1997, carrying his Galil assault rifle.
In February 2007, a Syrian organization claimed that it had access to Hever and would facilitate his release if Israel released Druse prisoners held in its jails, according to a report in Ynet at the time. The organization’s claim was greeted with skepticism in Israel and bore no fruit.
In 2009, Hever’s mother, Rina Hever, said that she is certain that her son is being held in Syria, saying that the Foreign Ministry believes the same.
According to a report at the time in Haaretz, she met with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, and she told the newspaper that he vowed to appoint an official to oversee the steps taken to finding her son.
She also met with Foreign Ministry director-general Yossi Gal, and he issued directives that Hever’s case be considered a humanitarian issue to be presented to foreign dignitaries visiting Jerusalem ahead of Damascus, the report added.
Hever’s case has dogged Israeli officials for years but has not received the same amount of attention as other cases of missing soldiers.
A number of scenarios have been investigated, including that he was kidnapped from near the border with Syria and spirited into the country, or that he fell into a ravine in a remote area of the Golan Heights and was never found.
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