Today marks Israel’s Memorial Day for the fallen soldiers whose place of burial is unknown. The efforts to locate and close the 179 cases still continue.

Photo credit: GPO/ Channel 2 News

Today (Sunday), Israel marks the Memorial Day for the fallen soldiers who place of burial is unknown. According to the IDF’s Location of the Missing in Action (MIA) Branch, since Israel was established, there have been 179 soldiers who have been declared dead yet their bodies were not found and buried in Israel. Despite the time that has passed, the IDF still continues investigating the cases and hoping for a breakthrough.

The earliest cases date back to December 1947, the beginning of the War of Independence, and continue to Operation Protective Edge in 2014, with Oron Shaul and Hadar Goldin, whose bodies still remain in the hands of Hamas. 5 more soldiers are considered missing in action- 3 from the Battle of Sultan Yacoub during the 1982 Lebanese War, Ron Arad and Guy Hever. The efforts to find out what happened to them never ceased.

Hadar Goldin (left) and Oron Shaul (right)

Hadar Goldin (left) and Oron Shaul (right) Photo credit: Channel 2 News

Over the last years, several cases of missing soldiers from the War of Independence were solved through new information and advanced lab tests. Unknown soldiers who have been buried in nameless graves were identified by comparing DNA results or by credible information regarding the battle in which they died. In the past, Israel’s agreements with its neighboring countries also led to new information.

“Our commitment is towards the soldier who was sent to the battlefield,” stated the Head of the Location of the MIA Branch. “It is an ethical mission and moral obligation for us…Sometimes there are breakthroughs even after many years, so we never give up.”