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Israel Makes Deal With Prisoners to Find Remains of Murdered IDF Soldier

majdi halabi

Majdi Halabi, an IDF soldier who disappeared in 2005

In 2005, an 18 year-old Druze soldier, Majdi Halabi, who’d only served five months in the IDF, disappeared while hitchhiking somewhere between his home in  northern Israel’s Carmel region and his military base. Until now, there has been no word on what happened to him. Police never found his body and never identified a suspect. The family was quite angry that so little attention was accorded to the story of their son compared to that of Gilad Shalit, a Jewish IDF soldier captured by Gaza militants around the same time.

Though the identity of the victim is under gag in Israel, the media has reported that the State has made a deal with two career criminals in custody to reveal the location of Halabi’s body. One of the convicts is serving a life sentence for murder and the other is serving a long sentence for drug dealing.

Apparently, there is a third prisoner (Hebrew) who will reveal the information to the other two. They in turn will convey it to the authorities. If they find Halabi’s body, the two will receive a pardon for their crimes. The third prisoner is not part of the deal.  The three claim they played no role in the killing.

I’ve learned the identity of the victim from my confidential Israeli source. However, he doesn’t know how or why Halabi was killed. I’m presuming, based on the background and criminal record of the prisoners, that Halabi was not captured by Palestinian militants. Instead, this would appear to be a murder involving drug dealing or a random act of violence.  For the sake of the family who’ve lived with this tragedy for years, I hope Halabi was an innocent victim.

I don’t know who imposed the gag but presume it was the police as they probably preferred to find the body and then make the victim’s identity known.

{ 8 comments… add one }
  • Bob Mann April 23, 2012, 3:42 AM

    Seems a very sad and tragic story. Thanks for shining a light. Here’s hoping for truth and justice in this case and any others like it.

  • Anyn. April 23, 2012, 9:47 AM

    The story is indeed a tragedy, and I hope you are not wrong about this being a deal to reveal Halabi’s burial place, and not someone else.

    When a gag order is imposed to protect the pride or methods of Israeli security forces I compoletely approve of you not respecting them. However, in this case, the gag seems to protect the feelings of Majdi Halabi’s family and not to raise false hopes.

    How would you feel if it turned out that you were wrong or that the criminals don’t really have information? That’s a very cruel thing to do, and where is the journalistic value in this item? It’s really difficult for me to understand.

    • Richard Silverstein April 23, 2012, 1:30 PM

      The police lifted the gag a few hours after I reported the story. Instead of imagining why don’t you contact the police yrself & ask them the purpose of the gag. And stop whining & whinging.

  • Ghost Writer April 24, 2012, 7:16 AM

    Why do you accuse Anyn, of whining and whinging? He/she did no such thing. All s/he did was couch a very polite suggestion that there was no journalistic value in what you wrote and explained why, You are always so “anti”. Why are you so rude to everyone who doesn’t immediately say “Oh Richard, how wonderful you are”?

    • Richard Silverstein April 25, 2012, 4:04 PM

      Now who’s whinging & whining? I frankly don’t care what you think about my editorial decisions. If you have something on topic and of substance to say, do so. Stop kvetching about other matters.

  • Fred Plester April 24, 2012, 2:50 PM

    The Met have made a succession of similar deals with professional criminals claiming to know where Suzy Lamplugh is buried, and have dug up fields all over South West England without result.

    I hope this episode ends better, but I fear it might not.

    I’d sooner spend a month quartering the desert with ground penetrating radar, than spend five minutes listening to a professional criminal telling me where it would suit his purposes to have me digging holes.

  • maureen kilroy May 3, 2012, 9:55 PM

    Just out of curiosity, is part of this deal this body is positively identified as Majdi Halabi thru DNA testing before the deal is carried through?

    • Richard Silverstein May 3, 2012, 11:02 PM

      Don’t know. But I presume the police will positively ID the body once it’s found.

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