Report: Syrian rebels searched for IDF soldiers' bodies in Yarmouk camp

Cooperation with Israel, or Assad's propaganda?

May 26, 2018 19:14
1 minute read.
SYRIAN SOLDIERS walk past damaged buildings in the Yarmouk Palestinian refugee camp in Damascus.

SYRIAN SOLDIERS walk past damaged buildings in the Yarmouk Palestinian refugee camp in Damascus on May 22.. (photo credit: OMAR SANADIKI/REUTERS)

Talal Naji, assistant secretary general of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, accused Syrian rebels of collaborating with Israel during an interview Saturday with Hezbollah’s al-Mayadeen news network. The PFLP is allied with Syrian President Bashar Assad.

According to Naji, after Assad’s forces overtook the Yarmouk Palestinian refugee camp from rebels associated with Jabhat al-Nusra and ISIS, it was discovered that the rebels had dug out old graves with the intent of locating the bodies of three Israeli soldiers who went missing during the 1982 battle of Sultan Yacoub and are presumed dead: Zachary Baumel, Yehuda Katz and Zvi Feldman.

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The aftermath of a Syrian forces attack on the Islamic State-held enclave of Yarmouk Palestinian refugee camp, May 5, 2018 (Reuters)

The battle was between Israeli and Syrian forces during the first Lebanon war, and the bodies remained in the hands of the Syrian fighters. The battle took place when Israel tried to gain a foothold on the Beirut-Damascus highway before a cease-fire went into effect.

This is not the first time that Assad’s supporters have accused Syrian rebels of receiving support from Israel in an attempt to undermine their legitimacy. Pictures of Syrian rebels carrying medical supplies with Hebrew letters on them were published in the past, and The Wall Street Journal has even published an interview with Syrian rebels who admitted to having ties with Israel.

Translated by Tamar Ben-Ozer.

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