Doctors identify five IDF soldiers among remains handed over by Hezbollah
Lebanon sources: Hezbollah still holds more Israeli remains; Israel 'surprised' over handover of remains.
Specialists at the Abu Kabir Forensic Laboratory have been working on three shifts around the clock to identify the remains Hezbollah transferred to Israel on Sunday.
Officials said Monday that the remains that have been identified belong to five of nine Israeli soldiers who were killed during the Second Lebanon War, and whose bodies were not intact at burial.
In the coffin transferred to Israel on Sunday, Hezbollah included the military dog tag of an airman killed during the war, which was delivered to his family Monday by the IDF. Warrant Officer Ron Mashiach of Holon was killed on August 12, 2006, along with four other crew members, when their helicopter was downed by Hezbollah during operations in southern Lebanon.
The coffin, which contained mostly tissue and small fragments of bone, are being identified using genetic profiling, which compares the findings with samples taken from relatives of the dead soldiers.
According to officials, most of the bone fragments have still not been identified, and the painstaking process may take as long as a month to complete.
Experts said that even though the condition of some of the tissue and bones is not good, DNA technology will prevail, as it has in other difficult tasks such as identifying remnants from the attack on the World Trade Center in New York on September 11, 2001.
The same sources said that the technology is available at the Abu Kabir Forensic Laboratory to carry out the necessary tests, and noted that there is no particular reason to send any of the parts abroad for testing, as had been done in the past.