TEL AVIV (May. 21)
The remains of 2nd Lt. Chaim Ben Yona, a 21-year-old officer in the Israeli Army killed May 14 at the Suez Canal, were returned by Egyptian to Israeli authorities yesterday through Red Cross representatives.
Lt. Ben Yona’s body was found floating in the Canal by the Egyptians who claimed he was part of a team of Israeli commandos attempting to cross the Canal into Egypt.
An Israeli Army spokesman said that Lt. Ben Yona had been killed by Egyptian gunfire during an incident eight days ago and had fallen into the water. According to Cairo reports, three Israeli rubber assault boats attempted to infiltrate Egyptian positions south of Port Said. Gunfire was reported to have sunk one of the boats and its occupants and forced the other two to turn back.
The Cairo press, which reported that the officer was wearing frogman flippers, claimed its discovery proved the “falsehood” of the Israeli reports. Cairo newspapers printed pictures of the body as well as the flippers, submachine gun, hand grenades, signal flares and walkie-talkie said to have been found with the body. An Israeli spokesman denied the charges. Lt. Ben Yona was buried today at Kibbutz Yehiam in Western Galilee.