With Help From UN, Israeli Returned From Lebanon After Crossing Border

The 55-year-old Jerusalem resident was said to be emotionally unstable, and is due to be questioned by security forces.

Noa Shpigel
Noa Shpigel
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Noa Shpigel
Noa Shpigel

A 55-year-old Jerusalem resident with Israeli citizenship who crossed the border last week into Lebanon was returned to Israel on Friday evening by UN peacekeeping forces. He was returned via the Rosh Hanikra border crossing on Israel's Mediterranean coast.

The Israel Defense Force Spokesman's Unit said the Jerusalemite was due to be questioned by Israeli security forces and released following his return to Israel. He was apparently emotionally unstable and seemed to have no security-related motive in crossing into Lebanon. The case was first disclosed by Yoav Etiel of Radio Haifa.

Last Tuesday, Jerusalem police announced that the man was missing and noted that he was at risk. On Sunday morning, following his return to Israel, his wife posted a statement on Facebook thanking all those who helped locate him, expressing appreciation to the IDF, the Missing Relatives Forum, the Lebanese government and UNIFIL (the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon). She reported in her post that her husband had crossed the border due to emotional distress and not out of anti-Israeli motives.

She also made reference to the case of Avera Mengistu, an Israeli who crossed into Hamas-controlled Gaza under similar circumstances and whose whereabouts are apparently unknown. "If only Hamas relates to Avera Mengistu in the same way," she said, adding: "I hope no one unfavorably judges a person in his situation."

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