Lebanese paper presents 'proof of Israeli body parts'
Following Hizbullah leader's fiery speech, Lebanese newspaper publishes photo of dog-tag with details of Israeli soldier, claiming Shiite group has his body parts. According to paper, Nasrallah decided 'to sow confusion in Israel on eve of Winograd report'. Soldier's family: We won't play into Nasrallah's hands
In an attempt to confirm Hizbullah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah's fiery speech Saturday, the paper presented as proof a photo of a dog-tag with the personal details of an Israeli soldier killed during the Second Lebanon War.
Nasrallah, one of Israel's most wanted men, appeared in public for the first time in more than a year to attend a Shiite religious event in the Lebanese capital of Beirut.
"We have the heads, the hands, the feet and even a nearly intact cadaver from the head down to the pelvis," he said in his speech. "The Israeli army left behind the remains of the bodies of a large number of soldiers."
According to the paper, the Hizbullah leadership decided to provide details on the "body remains" in order to "sow confusion and embarrassment among the Israeli military and political establishment on the eve of the Winograd report."
Journalist Ibrahim al-Amin, considered to be affiliated with Hizbullah, quoted "knowledgeable sources" as claiming that Israel had been trying to avoid the issue for some time.
One of the sources went on to claim that IDF officials may have believed that this humane issue was finalized with the families, but that they failed to reveal the fact that the soldiers' remains were left behind in Lebanon since the first day of the war.
According to the source, Israel's demands to reveal the fate of the remains left behind were delivered to Hizbullah at the end of the war by a Red Cross representative.
Family: Don't give Nasrallah the satisfaction
The dog-tag presented by al-Akhbar belongs to fallen soldier Ron Mashiah. The IDF had updated the family on the dog-tag left behind in Lebanon.
"As far as we know, the dog-tag is an item left in the field," Ron's brother Motti told Ynet. "It's possible that additional items were left in the area as a result of the explosion which took place there."
The Mashiah family was presented with the pathological report, as were all the other bereaved families. According to Motti Mashiach, as far as he knows, his brother's body was rescued intact and brought to Israel for burial.
As for the Hizbullah leader's shocking propaganda, Mashiach says, "It is clear to me that if the bereaved families respond to Nasrallah's remarks, this will only encourage him to continue with this story.
"We must ignore him, rather than give him this 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."
Sergeant-Major Ron Mashiah, 33, of Hadera served an airborne mechanic and was killed in a CH-53 Sikorsky helicopter crash in Lebanon along with four other soldiers. He was survived by his wife Sivan, who was pregnant at the time with a baby boy.
Sivan's father, Yaakov Keidar said that "according to the pathological report and the paratroopers' testimonies, we know that the body arrived intact. They may have the dog-tag, and we know that other items were found in the area, such as Ron's penknife, which had his name engraved on it and was found by the paratroopers.
"In any case, the worst is behind us. Ron died and left behind a pregnant woman, had a dignified military funeral, and the rest is irrelevant as far as we are concerned."
According to Keidar, the ongoing dealing with the soldiers' bodies plays into the Hizbullah leader's hands.
"We won't go into this and give Nasrallah material to use as manipulations. He wants to blackmail us emotionally, pour acid over bare nerves and tell the people of Israel, 'You, who do not leave the injured behind, have left body parts and personal equipment.'
"We won't five him this satisfaction. We have no business with Nasrallah. So he found a dog-tag… We only hope the day comes when someone puts Nasrallah where he belongs and he is no longer able to talk. It's time to take off the gloves and shut him up."
Roi Mandel contributed to this report