UNITED NATIONS, N.Y. (Jul. 25)
Israel accused Syrian authorities today of being guilty of “inhuman treatment” of Israelis who fell into their hands. The charges were made by Ambassador Gideon Rafael in a communication to Secretary-General U Thant in which he related the case of Jacob Mashiach, one of three Israelis kidnapped by Syrian soldiers inside Israel on Sept. 16, 1966. His body was returned to the Israelis earlier this month in a prisoner exchange.
Ambassador Rafael described the efforts to locate the man made through the U.N. Truce Supervision Organization, through the Secretary-General’s office, the Red Cross and the U.N. Human Rights Commission. The Syrians, in response to all queries, had denied knowledge of the prisoner and had insisted there was no Israeli under arrest in Syria.
Documents dealing with interrogations of Mashiach in Sept. 1966 were found in Syrian Army headquarters when Israel forces took Kuneitra. Confronted with these documents, the Syrians admitted that Mashiach had been a prisoner and asserted that he had died on Oct. 8, 1966.