Despite media reports in the past few days of the possibility that Mordechai Moshe, a prisoner serving two life sentences, might have information regarding the location of the body of IDF soldier Guy Hever, The Jerusalem Post has learned that the information is likely unreliable.
Hever mysteriously disappeared without a trace in August 1997.
First, the prisoner’s information, if there is any, is not from direct knowledge but rather information he learned from others.
Second, the prisoner also offered the state information on the whereabouts of Majdi Halabi’s body, but that information turned out to be false – Halabi’s body was later found by other means.
The Justice Ministry responded to the news reports, saying that “following a prisoner’s notification to the prosecution regarding possible information on soldier Guy Hever” the state has in “recent months [engaged] in preliminary contact” with the prisoner’s lawyer.
The state is attempting to “evaluate the nature of the information,” which the prisoner “claims he possesses.”
The statement continued, “the contacts have still not sufficiently ripened” to a point of more serious consideration of the issue because of reasons connected with “the prisoner and the nature of the information.”
The IDF announced it had renewed searches for Hever in December 2013, following a decision by the head of the IDF Manpower Branch, Gen.
Searches were restarted 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 in December.
“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 new pieces of intelligence.
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 set free 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 said that she was certain that her son was being held in Syria, and that the Foreign Ministry believed the same.
According to a report in Haaretz at the time, she told the newspaper that she met with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and he vowed before her to appoint an official to oversee the search for 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 said.
Hever’s case has dogged Israeli officials for years but hasn’t received the same amount of attention as other cases of missing soldiers.
A number of scenarios were investigated, including a kidnapping near the border with Syria from which he was spirited into the country, or that he fell into a ravine in a remote area of the Golan Heights and was never found.
Ben Hartman contributed to this report.