While thousands of Israelis were welcoming returning prisoners of war form Syria on Thursday (June 6), a much more solemn arrival was taken place in northern Israel.
DAMASCUS-KUNEITRA ROAD JUNE 6, 1974 (REUTERS - MARTIN FLETCHER)
GV Bodies of Syrians carried past coffins of Israelis
SV Syrians and Israelis
LV ZOOM IN Red Cross vans drive off with Syrian bodies ZOOM BACK TO Israelis by coffins(2 shots)
SV PAN Israelis standing by
SV Coffings carried past guard of honour, Rabbi at head (4 shots) (PRAYERS BEING RECITED)
SCU Soldiers carrying coffin (COFFINS DRAPED IN ISRAELI FLAGS)
MV Coffins placed on truck
MV Soldiers' feet TILT UP TO soldiers carrying coffin
Background: While thousands of Israelis were welcoming returning prisoners of war form Syria on Thursday (June 6), a much more solemn arrival was taken place in northern Israel. The two countries were honouring another section of the recently signed ceasefire and disengagement agreement. The bodies of eighteen Israelis killed during the October war were being handed over on the Golan Heights border. The exchanged took place in the Tel Shams region of the Heights. The Israelis returned the bodies of eight soldiers killed during the war. The exchange was supervised by the International Red Cross.
The dead Israelis were given full military recognition. A guard of honour assembled on a part of the road linking Damascus and Kuneitra and a convoy of military trucks stood by to carry the bodies to their burial place. A Rabbi led the way as the coffins were carried form the exchange point to the trucks.
SYNOPSIS: At a lonely wind-swept spot on the road between Damascus and Kuneitra Syrians and Israelis faced each other to ratify another section of the peace and disengagement treaties they signed last week. On Thursday the two sides met at their border in the Golan Heights to exchange the bodies of soldiers killed in the October war. Eight coffins bearing the Syrian dead were placed on vans of the International Red Cross, which supervised the exchange, and taken for burial in Damascus.
The bodies of eighteen Israelis were returned. The dead soldiers were given full military honours and a Rabbi headed the procession of coffins.
The coffins, draped with Israeli flags, were loaded on military trucks and taken to their burial place. Further exchanges are expected in the next few days.