Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The Other Gilad?

$10,000,000 for any information which leads to the finding of the missing soldier Majdi Halabi

It's been almost four and half years since the disappearance of the Israeli soldier Majdi Halabi. The then 19-year old soldier from the Druze town of Daliyat-el-Carmel was on his way to his base, but never made it to his destination. He hasn't been heard from since, and the Israeli public hasn't heard much about him, either. While everyone knows the names Gilad Shalit or Ron Arad, hardly anyone could tell you who Majdi Halabi is.

The fact that for a while already there has been a $10,000,000 reward on any information that leads to his discovery hasn't brought about any results either. You might see a sign about him if you are the Horev Centre in Haifa or pass by the University of Haifa, or catch the huge billboard up at the entrance of Halabi's hometown. That's how I learned about Halabi a few years ago. Someone has opened a Facebook profile in his name to "support the family." The Hana Fitness Centre in Daliyat-el-Carmel held a "sports event," sponsored by Speedo and others, on the fourth year anniversary of his disappearance. These all seem to organized by family members and fellow townspeople. But that's all. It just doesn't seem to be enough for a state that prides itself on its high concern for its soldiers.

5 comments:

Adam E. said...

Perhaps. And yet, could the fact that there is nothing to link Majdi's dissapearance to Hammas/other Jihadist organisations have something to do with it? One is a captured soldier, the other - just one of many dissapearances in Israel. This is not to say that Majdi has definately not been abducted. Perhaps, though, the two are not that comparable.

Aviv said...

Halabi was an absentee (נפקד nifkad) - He refused to show up at the base for some time, I don't remember the exact story.

The IDF investigated his disappearance like any other, but I believe that after Halabi's case, Maj. Gen. Stern made it a rule that the IDF owes you a lot less once you decide to go AWOL.

Compare with Gilad, who was abducted from the front line.

Anonymous said...

There is another Israeli soldier who went missing a few years ago, Guy Hever, whose situation is exactly like Majdi Halabi's. In both cases the disappearances didn't seem to have anything to do with Israel's enemies, so it's exactly the same as a missing civilian. It isn't an army or national priority, and I don't see why it should be more of a priority than any other missing person.

Carmia said...

Hi Aviv,

From what I understood, Majdi Halabi was thought to be an absentee but actually was not - and he was declared MIA shortly after his disappearance (according to a government website: http://www.mfa.gov.il/MFA/MFAArchive/2000_2009/2004/1/Israeli+MIAs.htm)

Carmia.

Carmia said...

The link didn't quite come out right; I'll try it again:
http://www.mfa.gov.il/MFA/MFAArchive/2000_2009/2004/1/Israeli+MIAs.htm