Miriam and Yoni Baumel hold a picture of their son Zachary Baumel, who went missing in at the Battle of Sultan Yacub in 1982. (Flash90) (Flash90)
Miriam and Yoni Baumel

After 37 years, Sgt. 1st Class Zachary Baumel has returned home to Israel.

By World Israel News Staff

The Israeli army announced it recovered the body of Staff Sgt. Zachary Baumel, a U.S. citizen from Brooklyn, New York, who went missing in a bloody 1982 battle with Syrian forces in southern Lebanon during the First Lebanon War.

Jonathan Conricus, an Israeli military spokesman, said Wednesday that Baumel’s remains had been returned to Israel and identified earlier in the week at the Abu Kabir Forensic Institute following 37 years of intelligence operations.

The identification was also verified by IDF Chief Rabbi Eyal Karim.

Conricus declined to elaborate on how the return was arranged or where the remains were found, saying only that “an opportunity arose to locate the body,” which the IDF did as part of a military intelligence effort titled “Operation Bittersweet Song.”