Family of Soldier Killed in Yom Kippur War Discovers Empty Grave

After Illegal Exhumation Based on Kidnapping Suspicions

Israeli soldiers place the national flag on graves of killed comrades at the Mount Herzl military cemetery in Jerusalem.
Getty Images
Israeli soldiers place the national flag on graves of killed comrades at the Mount Herzl military cemetery in Jerusalem.

By JTA

Published May 04, 2014.
  • Print
  • Share Share

The family of an Israeli soldier killed in the Yom Kippur War discovered an empty grave after illegally exhuming the burial site.

After its finding early Saturday morning at the Mount Herzl military cemetery, the family of Zion Tayeb called for the Israel Defense Forces to set up an independent investigation, the Walla news website reported Sunday. Walla first reported the discovery of the empty grave.

Israel’s Supreme Court last year refused the family’s request to exhume the body in order to positively identify it as Tayeb’s.

“The family’s request to unearth the grave was examined by the High Court, which accepted the state’s position and determined that the body was positively identified and as such there was no cause for digging up the site,” the IDF said in a statement after the exhumation, according to The Jerusalem Post.

Tayeb’s family reportedly had long suspected that his body was not recovered after he was killed on Mount Hermon on the first day of the war in October 1973.

The bodies of Tayeb and five other soldiers were missing following an attack by a Syrian commando unit. Several months later the Israeli army told the family that it had found the bodies and buried them on Mount Herzl.

Tayeb’s family believed he had been kidnapped alive and were suspicious about the body in the grave.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • "Orwell would side with Israel for building a flourishing democracy, rather than Hamas, which imposed a floundering dictatorship. He would applaud the IDF, which warns civilians before bombing them in a justified war, not Hamas terrorists who cower behind their own civilians, target neighboring civilians, and planned to swarm civilian settlements on the Jewish New Year." Read Gil Troy's response to Daniel May's opinion piece:
  • "My dear Penelope, when you accuse Israel of committing 'genocide,' do you actually know what you are talking about?"
  • What's for #Shabbat dinner? Try Molly Yeh's coconut quinoa with dates and nuts. Recipe here:
  • Can animals suffer from PTSD?
  • Is anti-Zionism the new anti-Semitism?
  • "I thought I was the only Jew on a Harley Davidson, but I was wrong." — Gil Paul, member of the Hillel's Angels. http://jd.fo/g4cjH
  • “This is a dangerous region, even for people who don’t live there and say, merely express the mildest of concern about the humanitarian tragedy of civilians who have nothing to do with the warring factions, only to catch a rash of *** (bleeped) from everyone who went to your bar mitzvah! Statute of limitations! Look, a $50 savings bond does not buy you a lifetime of criticism.”
  • That sound you hear? That's your childhood going up in smoke.
  • "My husband has been offered a terrific new job in a decent-sized Midwestern city. This is mostly great, except for the fact that we will have to leave our beloved NYC, where one can feel Jewish without trying very hard. He is half-Jewish and was raised with a fair amount of Judaism and respect for our tradition though ultimately he doesn’t feel Jewish in that Larry David sort of way like I do. So, he thinks I am nuts for hesitating to move to this new essentially Jew-less city. Oh, did I mention I am pregnant? Seesaw, this concern of mine is real, right? There is something to being surrounded by Jews, no? What should we do?"
  • "Orwell described the cliches of politics as 'packets of aspirin ready at the elbow.' Israel's 'right to defense' is a harder narcotic."
  • From Gene Simmons to Pink — Meet the Jews who rock:
  • The images, which have since been deleted, were captioned: “Israel is the last frontier of the free world."
  • As J Street backs Israel's operation in Gaza, does it risk losing grassroots support?
  • What Thomas Aquinas might say about #Hamas' tunnels:
  • The Jewish bachelorette has spoken.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.