Photo: Sabastian Shiner
Yona Baumel
Photo: Sabastian Shiner
Reproduction photo
Missing soldier Zachary Baumel
Reproduction photo

Yona Baumel, father of MIA soldier, dies aged 81

Father of missing soldier Zachary Baumel to be laid to rest at Jerusalem cemetery at 11 pm Saturday

Yona Baumel, the father of missing soldier Zachary Baumel, passed away this weekend at the age of 81. His funeral is scheduled for Saturday at 11 pm in Jerusalem.


Zachary Baumel, an Armored Corps combat soldier, participated in the battle for Sultan Yacoub on June 10, 1982, during the first days of the Lebanon War.


The battle ended with the deaths of 20 IDF soldiers, the wounding of dozens, and six soldiers reported MIA. The fate of three of those missing soldiers remains unknown.


Since Zachary's disappearance, Yona Baumel has searched the world for information on his son. He met with numerous world leaders and worked to raise public awareness.


In an interview with Ynet in 2008, on the second anniversary of Gilad Shalit's kidnapping, Baumel said, "If we had claimed 20 years ago that the Israeli government had cheated us, no one would have believed it. Now, when everyone sees what has been done to the Shalit family, you can surely understand what I am talking about."


At a ceremony marking 26 years since his son's disappearance, Baumel said he and his family had a "love-hate relationship" with the government and the IDF.


"We love the soldiers and officers, but really hate all those who tried to sweep our story under the rug and say that the boys are dead and that we shouldn't waste time and effort," he said.


"No one listened to us, we were given incorrect information, we were cheated and led astray."


Baumel also claimed that the Israeli government had not learned its lesson and that it was conducting itself in the same manner in dealing with the issue of kidnapped soldier Gilad Shalit.


פרסום ראשון: 05.30.09, 21:56
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