MIA's family to sue State, IDF officers

Family of Yehuda Katz accuse security services of failing to determine his fate.

yehuda katz 88 (photo credit: )
yehuda katz 88
(photo credit: )
The family of Yehuda Katz, one of three soldiers missing since the 1982 battle at Sultan Yakoub in Lebanon, intends to sue the State of Israel and two senior IDF officers to the tune of 4 million shekels for mishandling the entire investigation surrounding the soldiers' disappearance. Katz's family accuse the security establishment of failing to determine Katz's fate along with Zacharia Baumel and Tzvi Feldman, and opted to declare the three dead and place of burial unknown, without supplying the family concrete information to support the decision. Represented by lawyers Yishi Sarid and David Shrim, the family plans to lodge their complaint at the Jerusalem District Court. According to media reports, the two officers the family intends to sue are former head of the Manpower Division, Maj.Gen. (Res.) Gil Regev, and OC Chaplaincy Corps Brig.Gen. Yisrael Weiss. According to the family, Katz's mother suffered a stroke and the family suffered further anguish after they declared that Katz was dead. In a high profile interview in May last year, Regev accused the army of failing to do enough to secure the MIAs' return, and said that officials involved in searching for the whereabouts of the MIAs also believed they were dead but were unable to face the families. In February 2004, he concluded that the three soldiers from the Sultan Yakoub battle were killed in action, their place of burial unknown, as a result of findings drawn up by a panel he headed. Katz's sister, Pirchiya Heiman, told reporters that she hoped the court action would stir up the security establishment and force them to review the entire handling of the case and the reason that the three soldiers were declared dead.