Golan Bones Not Missing Soldiers, Tiberias Teenager

Initial examinations of human remains discovered Monday in the Golan Heights indicate that they do not belong to missing soldiers Guy Hever or Majdi Halabi, or to missing Tiberias teen Dana Bennet.

Tel Aviv's Abu Kabir Institute of Forensic Medicine is conducting the tests on the skull and partial skeleton.

The three disappearances are classified as "mysterious incidents."

Israel Defense Forces troops discovered the remains on the lower reaches of the Golan Heights near the Jordan River, north of Lake Kinneret, during routine training. A brushfire in the area about two weeks ago burned off the thick vegetation and exposed the skeleton.

After finding the remains, the soldiers notified Golan Heights police. A police team under the command of station Chief Superintendent Meni Binyamin and a crime scene investigation team came to the scene, and latter brought the remains to Abu Kabir.

It was not immediately apparent how long the remains had been there, said Binyamin. "This is not a body that has been there a short time. It could have been there 10 years or even 50 years," he said.

Several human remains have been found in the Golan Heights in recent years. All were ultimately identified as belonging to Syrian soldiers.

The latest remains were found in an area where searches had been conducted for Guy Hever, after he went missing in 1997. Hever had served at a nearby base.

However, no items that might have belonged to the soldier, such as a gun, tags, shoes or clothing, were found nearby.

Rina Hever, Guy Hever's mother, said the bones could not belong to her son. "This is not Guy's body. Guy disappeared in a different place, closer to the Syrian border," she said. "Anyway, Guy is alive and he is not here. I say this based on a mother's intuition."

The police said they hope the teeth that survived the fire will help them identify the remains.