2002-07-20 / Community

Weiner Meets With

Families of Missing Soldiers

Families of Missing Soldiers

Rep. Anthony Weiner recently met with the Israeli Minister for Parliamentary Affairs and family members of missing Israeli soldiers as part of his ongoing efforts to secure the release of Israeli MIA’s.

For the past twenty years, Iran, Syria, and Syrian-based terror groups like Hezbollah, have used hostage taking as a weapon against Israel. On October 7, 2000, Israel Defense Force soldiers Adi Avitan, age 21, Benny Avraham, age 20, and Omar Souad, age 27, were kidnapped by Hezbollah from the Israeli side of the Syrian border. Eight days later, Hezbollah announced that another Israeli citizen, 54-year old Colonel Elchanan Tannenbaum (a member of the Army Reserves), had been kidnapped in Lausanne, Switzerland.

Rep. Weiner met with the families of these missing soldiers, as well as with Israeli Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Dani Naveh, who is spearheading Israel’s efforts to enlist American assistance in freeing its MIA’s.

"Israel, the only true democracy in the Middle East and our closest ally in the region, went to extraordinary lengths to help secure the release of Americans held hostage in Lebanon, in 1991," said Rep. Weiner. "It’s time for the United States to show an equal commitment to those Israeli soldiers being held in captivity in Syria and Lebanon. It is time for these men to come home."

Last month, Rep. Weiner led a bi-partisan coalition of lawmakers in urging Secretary of State Colin Powell to push for the release of Israeli MIA’s during his meeting with Syrian Foreign Minister Farouk Shara.

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