Remains of five soldiers positively identified

Identification comes following Hizbullah handover; tags of Ron Mashiah, KIA in Lebanon, given to family.

ambulance north 224.88 (photo credit: AP)
ambulance north 224.88
(photo credit: AP)
The remains of five IDF soldiers killed during the Second Lebanon War were positively identified on Monday, from among the body parts transferred to Israel a day earlier by Hizbullah, the IDF said. The soldiers were Captain (res.) Daniel Gomez, Major (res.) Nissan Shalev, St.-Sgt. Major (res.) Ron Mashiach and Major Sami Ben-Naim - all killed in a transport helicopter crash, and Major Gilad Zusman, killed by an anti-tank missile. The box of body parts was transferred to Israel on Sunday moments after Hizbullah spy Nasim Nisr, who completed his six-year prison term that day, was allowed to cross into Lebanon. The box, officials said, contained several bags of flesh, tissue and bones. The L. Greenberg Institute for Forensic Medicine at Abu Kabir matched up the tissue against DNA samples it had taken from soldiers killed during the Second Lebanon War. Officials said it would take several weeks to complete the identification process of the bones. Identification of body parts at the L. Greenberg Institute for Forensic Medicine at Abu Kabir usually takes 24 hours to carry out by polymerase chain reaction tests when it is on soft tissue and three weeks when on hard tissue such as bone. The longer the time that passes between death and the testing of body parts, the longer it takes to identify the genetic material, according to experts at the forensic institute. As genetic samples have been taken from all soldiers during the past few years, it is possible to identify bodies and body parts without having to take samples from first-degree relatives. When the samples are taken and the gene profiles established, these are compared with profiles of soldiers killed in various incidents during the war. These techniques are used by the forensic institute for other incidents, including those involving terror. Also Monday, the IDF gave the Mashiah family from Gadera the dog tags of their son, Ron Mashiah, 33, who was killed when a Yasur transport helicopter was shot down by Hizbullah in the last days of the war. The dog tags were found in the box transferred to Israel on Sunday. staff contributed to this report.