Drive to support missing Druze IDF soldier


The Zionist Federation has launched a campaign to highlight the plight of a Druze Israeli soldier declared missing more than six years ago.

Majdi Halabi was last seen at a hitchhiking stop near Mount Carmel on May 24 2005. He was 19 at the time; the same age as another IDF soldier, Gilad Shalit, was when he was kidnapped by Hamas terrorists the following year.

But although volunteers searched the area and the Israeli government officially declared him missing a fortnight later, the facts of his disappearance are still not known and no group has claimed responsibility.

The parents of Private Halabi, from the northern Israeli village of Dalyat El Karmel, believe their son was kidnapped.

Three years ago a prison inmate called them and claimed the soldier had been abducted and was being held in the West Bank.

But if the information was correct, it did not reveal anything more about Private Halabi's whereabouts.

The ZF's campaign is designed to draw attention to the case, which has not received significant media coverage.

Given the lack of information about the case, there can be no petition calling for pressure to be put on Hamas, as was set up for Gilad Shalit.

But the ZF's Gary Sakol said support could still be shown by sending the family messages of solidarity and good wishes. "We want to bring his plight to public attention," he said.

"We also want to show his parents that we have feelings of empathy with them and show that just because he is not Jewish does not mean that are thoughts aren't with him."

Private Halabi is one of seven soldiers officially listed as missing by the Israeli government.

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