TEL AVIV (May. 31)
Israeli pathologists have determined that two corpses claimed by Lebanon’s Shi’ite Amal militia to be Israeli soldiers are not the remains of the missing men.
The Israeli medical examiners conducted their tests following inconclusive examinations of the bodies by pathologists of the International Red Cross.
Amal had offered the bodies in the hope of exchanging them for the release of Shi’ite women prisoners held by Israel and its allied South Lebanon Army.
Amal leader Nabih Berri, after years of disclaiming knowledge of any Israelis missing in action, last month announced that his organization held two bodies and would allow the International Red Cross to examine them if the IDF and SLA freed all Lebanese women held in their prisons.
Israel rejected the demand. Military officials noted that when Arab countries or organizations had returned bodies to Israel in the past as part of prisoner exchanges, the bodies had often proved not to be the remains of Israelis.
But after the SLA released five women, Berri agreed to the Red Cross inspecting the bodies on condition that Israel and the SLA promise to effect the general release.
Israel again refused any deal, but the Amal permission was granted anyway.
Israeli pathologists carried out a minute comparison of the Red Cross findings against physical details known about the missing men, including genetic matching, dental cross-checking and examinations of skeletal deformations and accident markings.
The IDF announced last week that the examinations and comparisons proved beyond any doubt that the remains inspected by the Red Cross were not those of the missing Israelis.