Israel resumed efforts in recent weeks to solve the mysterious disappearance of one of its soldiers on the Golan Heights 17 years ago.
The searches are concentrated in two minefields adjacent to where IDF soldier Guy Hever was deployed, near Had Nes, Channel 2 reported Monday. As part of the efforts, the army torched the fields while taking photos from above to identify whether any of the explosions were unusual. The Israeli forces are hoping to locate Hever’s rifle, which would not have biodegraded or been consumed by animals, and which has never been found.
Last December, the IDF announced it would renew the searches shortly.
In August 1997, Hever, a sergeant, left his post at an artillery base on the Golan Heights, and left the camp carrying only his rifle. The base, Camp Thunder, was less than 23 kilometers (14 miles) from the Syrian border.
No trace of Hever has ever been found, and the case remains one of Israel’s most confounding mysteries.
Tireless searches by volunteer teams, soldiers, policemen, trained dogs, aircraft, and robots inserted into mined areas have all come up empty.
The military initially resisted officially declaring Hever missing, and though he is now considered a missing soldier and a reward has been offered for information, officials still seem reticent about the case.