Fallen soldier's brother: Ignore Nasrallah

Lebanese newspaper claims it has photos of remains of IDF soldiers left on battlefield: Lebanese army: We fired on IAF warplanes.

By AP
January 21, 2008 12:31
2 minute read.
Fallen soldier's brother: Ignore Nasrallah

Dog tag . (photo credit: )

A Lebanese newspaper closely affiliated with Hizbullah claimed Monday that it has photographs of the remains of IDF soldiers that were left behind during the Second Lebanon War. The Al-Akhbar daily also published a picture of a necklace and a dog tag that it said belonged to an IDF soldier. "Parts of his body were left on the battlefield," according to the paper. The report was written by journalist Ibrahim al-Amin, who has close ties with Hizbullah. He said that for "humanitarian reasons" he did not publish the photographs showing the remains of the soldiers. On Saturday, Hizbullah head Hassan Nasrallah said his organization had body parts belonging to a number of IDF soldiers who were killed in the 2006 war. According to the paper, the Hizbullah leadership decided to provide details on the "body remains" to "sow confusion and embarrassment among the Israeli military and political establishment on the eve of the publication of the final Winograd Report investigating the war." The dog tag presented belongs to Warr. Ofc. (res.) Ron Mashiah, 33, of Gedera, an airborne mechanic who was killed on August 12, 2006 with four other soldiers in a CH-53 Sikorsky helicopter crash. He was survived by his wife Sivan, who was pregnant at the time with a baby boy, his parents and two older brothers. "As far as we know, the dog tag is an item left in the field," Ron's brother Motti told Channel 10. "It's possible that additional items were left in the area as a result of the explosion that took place there." Motti Mashiah said that as far as his family knew, his brother's body was brought intact to Israel for burial. "We must ignore him [Nasrallah] and not give him any satisfaction. As long as we dig into it, we hurt the families. We must ignore, rather than touch on it and deepen the pain. We won't play Nasrallah's game," Motti Mashiah said. Nasrallah's statement that he had body parts of Israeli soldiers drew fire from his political opponents in Beirut on Monday. "We regret some of the terminology and some images that many Lebanese found disgusting in Nasrallah's speech," said former president Amin Gemayel, a leading member of the pro-government, anti-Syrian coalition that is backed by the United States. Meanwhile, the Lebanese military said that Lebanese troops opened fired Monday on IAF warplanes flying reconnaissance missions over southern Lebanon, but no hits were reported. The firing by the Lebanese army on Israeli fighter jets flying over southern Lebanon was the second time since a UN-brokered cease-fire ended a 34-day war between Israeli forces and Hizbullah guerrillas in August 2006. A senior Lebanese military official told The Associated Press that planes flew at a medium altitude over the southern city of Tyre and the border town of Naqoura on the Mediterranean coastline. The Lebanese army said in a statement that six IAF warplanes violated airspace in southern Lebanon, drawing anti-aircraft fire near the coastal city of Tyre. "The Lebanese army's ground anti-aircraft guns confronted the hostile Israeli warplanes, forcing them to flee to occupied Palestinian territory," the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity in line with military rules. In Jerusalem, an IDF spokeswoman said the military "does not elaborate on operational activity of its air force."


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