Tank returned by Russia is not the one used by missing soldiers
Military experts say the tank returned to Israel by Russia following a request from Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is not the tank used by the missing soldiers Zvi Feldman, Yehuda Katz and Zachary Baumel.
The families of the 3 soldiers are reportedly furious at Netanyahu’s ‘spin,’ saying the PM knew all along.
While the Russians did indeed give Israel a tank it used in the First Lebanon War and which has been housed in a Russian museum for several decades, an expert said the newly returned armored vehicle has no marks showing that it was hit — and therefore could not be the one that Netanyahu asked for.
The tank manned by MIAs Zvi Feldman, Yehuda Katz and Zachary Baumel — which the prime minister asked Russian President Vladimir Putin to return — was seized during the June 11, 1982 battle that is considered one of Israel’s worst failures in the war. A total of 30 IDF soldiers were killed in the fight.
Another expert, Danny Kriaf, said that the tank that was returned “had the number 817581, while the tank of the missing had another number.
Yehuda Katz’s sister was furious.
“The families of the missing soldiers are exploding,” said Perhia Heyman. “Why do we need all this spin? Since I heard of the intention to return the tank I waited in anticipation and could not sleep properly. Ten days ago they had the ceremony in Russia, and Netanyahu said the families would have this tank ‘to touch and remember their fallen ones.’ Even then, he knew this was not the right tank, but we still didn’t know. I only received the right tank number on the next day, not through the IDF, and realized this was not Yehuda’s tank.”
Officials at the Prime Minister’s Office said that Israel at no point claimed the tank was the one manned by the missing soldiers.