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.