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Israel forms committee to monitor issue of prisoners of war, missing

October 9, 2023 at 2:41 pm

The Al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of the Palestinian resistance group Hamas annihilate Israeli tank as smoke rises near Israel-Gaza border in Gaza Strip, Gaza on 07 October 2023 [Abed Rahim Khatib – Anadolu Agency]

The Israeli army has established a special committee to follow up on the issue of missing individuals and prisoners of war held by Palestinian factions.

The committee for missing persons and prisoners falls under the Army Personnel Division. Its primary task at present is to gather information to determine the whereabouts of missing persons and those imprisoned since the start of Operation Al-Aqsa Flood, as well as to determine the identity of the soldiers and settlers who are not part of the army.

According to Army Radio, an operations room has been set up to track all security agencies, including the army, police and Shin Bet. In addition, a hotline has been allocated for inquiries and for members of the public to report missing persons during Operation Al-Aqsa Flood.

The position of coordinator for the prisoners and missing persons file has been vacant since the resignation of the former coordinator, Yaron Blum, in October 2022. Israeli opposition leader Yair Lapid criticised the failure to appoint a new coordinator since the far-right government, led by Benjamin Netanyahu, came to power almost a year ago.

Israeli media reported that around 750 Israelis have gone missing since the start of the Palestinian resistance’s operation on Saturday.

READ: Israel MK calls for a second Nakba in Gaza