Soldiers held captive since 1948

By MATT ZALEN
March 11, 2010 15:17
4 minute read.

 
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War of Independence, 1948-1949
(country – number captured)

Egypt – 156
Jordan – 673
Syria – 45
Lebanon – 8
All prisoners were returned by July 22, 1949

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1949-1956

• April 13, 1952 – Two soldiers captured, one killed by Egypt. POWs and body returned after three days.

• June 26, 1954 – Baruch Jibli captured by Arab Legion. Returned after one year.

• September 30, 1954 – Ten sailors held by Egypt for nearly five months.

• December 8, 1954 – Five soldiers captured by Syrians. One returned on January 14, 1955 after committing suicide. Other four returned on March 29, 1956 in exchange for 40 Syrian soldiers.



Sinai Campaign – October 1956

One pilot and two soldiers exchanged after four months for all 5,500 Egyptians taken prisoner during the operation.

1961-1963

• February 21, 1962 – Body of soldier killed in raid in Syria returned for one Syrian POW.

• September 24, 1962 – Fourteen soldiers taken captive by Lebanon. They’re returned the day after.

• December 21, 1963 – Eleven Israelis – both soldiers and civilians – captured by Syria since 1948 returned for 18 Syrians.

The Six Day War – June 1967

Egypt – 11
Syria – 1
Iraq – 2
Lebanon – 1

All POWs from the war returned by January 23, 1968. In February 1968, the Israeli spies involved in planning for the war were also returned. Syria refused to return body of Mossad agent Eli Cohen.

War of Attrition – 1968-1970

Egypt – 12
Syria – 3

All three prisoners held by Syria, and five prisoners held by Egypt returned by June 1973.

1968-1970 (unrelated to War of Attrition)

• April 2, 1968 – Body of one soldier returned for 12 Jordanians.

• July 28, 1968 – El Al plane hijacked to Algeria. All passengers released, but details of exchange not yet public.

• August 29, 1970 – TWA plane hijacked to Damascus. Two Israelis on board released after three months.

The Yom Kippur War – October 1973

Egypt – 231
Syria – 62
Lebanon – 2

Egypt returns all POWs by December 1973; Syria returns POWs in June 1974; Egypt returns 39 bodies of IDF soldiers in April 1975. Six other IDF soldiers captured after Yom Kippur War returned during this time.

1974-1981

• April 5, 1978 – One soldier captured in Lebanon. He was returned on
March 14, 1979.

The Lebanon War

• June 12, 1982 – Five soldiers captured, three of whom are still missing.

• September 3, 1982 – Eight soldiers captured – two by the PFLP-GH and the others by Fatah; those held by Fatah released on November 23, 1983 for 4,700 Lebanese fighters.

• April 1983 – Soldier abducted by Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine.

• June 28, 1984 – Three soldiers, three Israeli civilians and five
bodies of IDF soldiers returned by Syria.

• May 21, 1985 – All three soldiers held by PFLP-GH released in
exchange for 1,150 Lebanese gunmen.

• July 17, 1986 – Two IDF soldiers abducted by Hizbullah.

• October 16, 1986 – IAF navigator Ron Arad shot down and captured in Lebanon. Whereabouts still unknown.

• September 12, 1991 – Body of soldier abducted by Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine returned.

• October 4, 1994 – Nachshon Wachsman abducted by Hamas.

• October 14, 1994 – Wachsman killed during an IDF raid to try and secure his release.

• July 21, 1996 – Bodies of two soldiers abducted by Hizbullah returned.

• August 17, 1997 – Soldier Guy Hever disappears in the Golan.

• May 25, 1998 – Body of a soldier killed in action in Lebanon returned by Hizbullah.

2000-Present

• October 7, 2000 – Three soldiers abducted by Hizbullah.

• October 16, 2000 – Hizbullah announces that it is holding Elhanan Tannenbaum.

• January 2004 – Tannenbaum and the bodies of the three soldiers
killed in 2000 abduction returned.

• June 25, 2006 – Gilad Schalit abducted in Gaza.

• July 12, 2006 – Reservists Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev kidnapped
by Hizbullah.

• July 16, 2008 – Bodies of Goldwasser, Regev returned.

Dates and figures found on Foreign Ministry Web site (www.mfa.gov.il).

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