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Herzog Embroiled in Controversy over His Remarks About the Six Pows

President Chaim Herzog has become involved in controversy since his public remark Tuesday that the six Israeli soldiers released last week in a prisoner-of-war exchange with the Palestine Liberation Organization had surrendered “shamefully” to the PLO when they were captured in Lebanon in September, 1982.

Herzog will meet tomorrow with the parents of the six soldiers. They have accused him of singling out their sons for unjust condemnation. The President said on a television interview last night that he had intended no personal criticism of the young men when he “absolutely agreed” with former Chief of Staff Gen. Rafael Eitan that they did not deserve the heroes’ welcome they received on their return from captivity.

The Israel Defense Force must decide the circumstances of their case, Herzog said. He explained that it was his intention only to stress the vital need to maintain the IDF’s high standards and traditions of soldierly conduct.

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