Guy Hever. Missing
Photo: Shaul Golan
Rina Hever. Still hoping
Photo: Raanan Ben-Zur
Photo: AFP
Assad. Did not respond
Photo: AFP
Carter. Delivered message
Photo: Reuters

Missing soldier's photo delivered to Assad

Former US President Jimmy Carter gives Syrian leader picture of Guy Hever, who disappeared 11 years ago in Golan Heights. 'The Syrian president did not respond, apart from thanking Carter,' Hever's mother tells Ynet, 'yet I see this as a good sign'

A photo of missing IDF soldier Guy Hever was delivered to Syrian President Bashar Assad by former US President Jimmy Carter as the two leaders met in Damascus last week.


Carter received the photo from Guy's mother, Rina, who has been waiting for nearly 11 years now for a sign of life from her son.


Along with the picture, Carter was also given a document prepared by the family, detailing the events which took place since Hever disappeared from his Golan Heights base in the summer of 1997, including a list of meetings held with international officials in a bid to probe the circumstances of the mysterious disappearance.


During his meeting with Industry, Trade and Labor Minister Eli Yishai on Monday, Carter reported that there was no news from Damascus.


"The Syrian president did not respond, apart from thanking Carter," Rina Hever told Ynet, "yet I see this as a good sign. It's another step forward. The water will eventually penetrate into the rock. I believe there is a possibility that Guy is in Syria.


"It's true that there is no big news. We didn’t think we'd receive an answer or that the Syrian president would say he was holding Guy. There was no reply that Guy is there, but there was also no reply that he isn't. They can keep people for years and not report on them.


"In the past they told different messengers, like the Germans, that they cannot talk about 'this thing' – that's what they called my son. Because Guy doesn’t have the glory that the other missing soldiers have, things are progressing in a much more difficult manner.


"We are continuing our efforts and believe that they will eventually succeed. One more step and one more step, and in the end we will know where Guy is. This evening, under these circumstances, I feel fine. It makes me happy that my message was conveyed directly to the Syrian president."


Missing for more than a decade

Guy Hever, a soldier from the IDF’s Armor Corps, disappeared in the Golan Heights on August 17, 1997. He was last seen at his army base at 9:30 am the morning of his disappearance, and never heard from again.


According to the evidence gathered in his case, Hever went missing while dressed in his IDF uniform, dog tags, a prisoner document and a key ring, and armed with his military issue Galil rifle.


Prior to his disappearance, Hever was sentenced to 21 days in military confinement, for falling asleep during guard duty. This led to several speculations in his case, including the assumptions that Hever decided to desert the service and go into hiding, or that he committed suicide as a result of his court-martial.


Hever's family battled the IDF for three years, before the military authorities declared Hever missing in action, and subsequently began exploring the possibility of him being taken to Syria. The family still blames the IDF for concealing information prudent to the case.


Since Hever's disappearance, Israel has made many efforts to obtain information regarding his fate, on both defense and diplomatic levels in Israel and abroad, including involving Red Cross and the UN officials in what has become an extensive search mission.


To date, all efforts to find out what has become of Guy Hever have been in vain.


פרסום ראשון: 04.22.08, 00:05
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