Relatives of an Israeli soldier killed in Lebanon brushed off Hezbollah’s publication of a picture of his dog tag.
The Lebanese newspaper Al-Ahbar, which is closely identified with the Hezbollah terrorist organization, on Monday published a picture of the dog tag belonging to Ron Mashiach, an Israeli helicopter crewman who was killed during the 2006 war.
The publication appeared to be part of a Hezbollah campaign to pressure Israel into entering a deal for the return of two soldiers held by the Iranian-backed militia. Hezbollah chief Sheik Hassan Nasrallah has said Israel also left behind the remains of some of its slain soldiers in Lebanon.
The family of Mashiach, who was 33 when he died and left a pregnant widow, said seeing the dog tags caused them grief but they had been assured that his body was recovered for burial in Israel.
Mashiach’s brother, Dov, backed the Israeli government’s decision not to yield to Nasrallah’s psychological warfare.
“As far as I’m concerned, he can keep Ron’s dog tags and choke on them,” Dov Mashiach told the Ma’ariv newspaper.
Hezbollah wants Israel to free hundreds of jailed Arab terrorists in exchange for two army reservists it abducted in a July 2006 border raid.
“We must not give up any terrorists for anything Hezbollah is holding,” Mashiach’s other brother, Motti, said.