Speaking to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Moscow yesterday, President Putin said Russian soldiers in Syria discovered the body of US-born Staff Sergeant Zachary Baumel, who was 21 when he fought in Israel’s invasion of Lebanon in 1982.
The body was returned to Israel on an El Al flight earlier this week, and buried at the Mount Herzl military cemetery in Jerusalem yesterday.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in his eulogy for Baumel at a military cemetery in Jerusalem, thanked Russian President Vladimir Putin for his help.
He said: “One word has been repeated among many Israelis over the past momentous day. Chills. I, too, felt chills. When I learned that Zachary was with us once again, that his remains were identified, and that we will be able pay him our last respects”.
Netanyahu, said he had asked Putin to help Israel find Baumel’s remains two years ago. He said that Israeli commanders and intelligence agencies were in “constant contact” with the Russian army throughout. Neither Russia nor Israel have given details on how or where the remains were found.