Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed an order to return to Israel a tank from the Battle of Sultan Yacoub in the First Lebanon War.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu raised the issue during his meeting with President Putin in the Kremlin last month, following a request from IDF Chief-of-Staff Lt.-Gen. Gadi Eizenkot, and asked him to return the tank to Israel as it is the only evidence for the families of those IDF soldiers missing from the battle.
Over the weekend Israel received notice that Russian President Putin had acceded to Prime Minister Netanyahu's request to return the tank – which the Syrians had delivered to the Russian army and is currently at the armored corps museum in Moscow – to Israel.
Prime Minister Netanyahu updated the families of MIAs Zvi Feldman, Yehuda Katz and Zechariah Baumel.
An IDF Armored Corps delegation is currently in Moscow and – along with Russian army personnel – is considering how to transfer the tank to Israel forthwith.
Prime Minister Netanyahu: "I thank Russian President Vladimir Putin for acceding to my request to return to Israel the tank from the Battle of Sultan Yacoub. To the families of MIAs Zechariah Baumel, Zvi Feldman and Yehudah Katz, there has been nothing to remember the boys by and no grave to visit for 34 years now. The tank is the only evidence of the battle and now it is coming back to Israel thanks to President Putin's response to my request."