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(photo credit: Courtesy)
Rina Hever is sure her son Guy is being held in Syria. Though the Syrians deny any knowledge of him and there is no official information proving they captured him, two unrelated incidents support her theory.
In 1978, two Germans satisfied their army service through a volunteer program in Israel known as Operation Atonement. While traveling in the North, the two accidentally crossed the border into Syria and were captured by Syrian security forces. The Syrians completely denied the existence of the German prisoners until foreign minister Hans-Deitrich Genscher canceled a trip to Syria during which he was supposed to provide the country with funds and weapons.
Syria suddenly admitted holding the soldiers and they were brought home with Genscher upon his return to Germany. Hever spoke to these Germans herself, she says.
The second incident occurred in 1987, when an Israeli Arab was traveling in Europe and was seduced by Syrians to go to Damascus under the pretext of finding him work. Once in Damascus, he was held in a prison for almost 15 years, where he was tortured, while the Syrians denied any knowledge of him or his capture.
His family, well connected in the Arab world, was eventually able to bribe Syrian intelligence officers to release him a few years ago. These officers claimed his capture was a result of his collaboration with Israeli officials.
"But if that was true," says a source close to him, "they never would have released him. They just wanted money."
Syrian authorities continue to deny ever having held the Israeli Arab.