(1960 - )
Zachary Baumel is an Israel Defense Forces soldier who has been missing in action since the First Lebanon War.
Baumel was raised in New York and attended the Hebrew Institute of Boro Park before his family immigrated to Israel and
settled in the Haifa suburb of Kiryat Motzkin. He went to the State Religious
School as well as Midreshiat No'am High School.
After his studies, he began his military service in
the Israel Defense
Forces in the Hesder format which combined army service with religious
studies. Baumel played basketball frequently and studied at Yeshivat Har Etzion in Alon Shvut. In the army he became a tank commander. Before the First Lebanon War, Baumel had nearly completed his military
service and was preparing to study psychology at Hebrew University.
On June 11, 1982, in a battle with Palestinian and
Syrian forces near the Lebanese village of Sultan Yaqub, five Israeli
soldiers went missing. While two have since been returned to Israel,
three others -Tzvi Feldman, Yehuda Katz and Baumel - are still considered missing in action.
Shortly before the
fateful battle, Baumel had sent a postcard to his parents telling them, "don't
worry, everything is okay, but it looks like I won't be home for a while."
In February 2011, the Born to Freedom foundation obtained
a photo believe to be showing the body of Baumel atop a Syrian tank; nevertheless, he is still considered missing in action until further proof of his death arises.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Ynet; The International
Coalition for Missing Israeli Soldiers