Remains of Israeli MIA found after 61 yrs

June 30, 2009 at 7:31 AM
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JERUSALEM, June 30 (UPI) -- Sixty one years after he was declared missing, the remains of a soldier were discovered buried in Jerusalem's military cemetery under a different name.

A report in Yedioth Aharonoth Tuesday said the remains of Yaakov Aviad were discovered in the Mount Herzl military cemetery.

Since the War of Independence, Aviad has been missing, his burial site unknown, the paper said.

"Every year I passed by the grave site when attending the annual remembrance day ceremony for Israel's fallen. It never entered my mind my father was buried there," Yehuda Aviad said.

Aviad was born in Yemen and at the age of 20 immigrated to Israel. With the founding of the state of Israel, he joined the army and fell in the battle against Jordanian soldiers at Jerusalem's Mandelbaum Gate in July 1948, the paper said. At the time military officials said Yaakov was buried under the rubble, and declared him missing, place of burial unknown.

In 2004 there was a breakthrough after it was discovered the bodies of two men with similar names had been taken to a Jerusalem hospital, and later buried at the Mount Herzl cemetery at the time of the battle, the paper said.

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