74 years later: IDF identifies bodies of soldiers who fell in 1948 War of Independence

“Let every mother know that we will not stop until we return all the sons to the grave of Israel,” said the head of the IDF Personnel Directorate.

By World Israel News Staff

Following a lengthy investigation, the IDF spokesperson announced Friday that the bodies of the late Private Binyamin Aryeh (York) Eisenberg and the late Private Yitzhak Rubinstein were located in southern Israel.

It is now clear that the two soldiers were taken captive by the Egyptians just a few days after the announcement of the establishment of the Jewish state and were buried in a mass grave in Nitzanim, southern Israel, Hebrew-language N12 reported.

According to the investigation, which was conducted by the Missing Persons Branch of the IDF’s casualty department and lasted over a decade, the two were taken prisoner during Israel’s War of Independence and killed between May 23 and 24, less than two weeks after the establishment of the Jewish state was proclaimed on May 14, 1948.

Eisenberg and Rubinstein fought in the elite Palmach branch of the pre-IDF Haganah.

According to the findings, they were imprisoned together with late medic Livka Shafer.

In 1952, Israel’s late Chief Rabbi Shlomo Goren declared all three dead, with the place of burial unknown.

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Shafer’s body was found already in 2018, but it has only now become clear that Eisenberg and Rubinstein were also buried there.

The families were notified. In the coming weeks, a ceremony will be held, and the names of the two victims will be added to the memorial at Nitzanim, as was Shefer’s.

“Let every Jewish mother know that we will not stop until we return all the sons to the grave of Israel. And we will discover the burial place of our martyrs whose burial place is not known,” declared Maj. Gen. Yaniv Assor, head of the IDF Personnel Directorate.

The fighters of that generation “dreamed of the [Jewish] state…fought valiantly in fierce battles against Arab armies for the independence of the State of Israel. Determining a grave for the soldiers whose burial place is unknown, even 74 years after their fall, is a deep and authentic commitment of the people of Israel and the IDF, which stems from memories that span generations and connects the soldiers past and present.

“Today, the State of Israel and the Israel Defense Forces fulfill a moral duty in determining the grave of Binyamin Aryeh Eisenberg and the late Yitzchak Rubinstein in the grave of the brothers in Nitzanim,” said Asur.

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