Only one month ago did I rectify the horrible and inexcusable oversight of having omitted the name of Majdi Halabi in the list that appears on the editorial page of Israeli soldiers missing in action.
This week, we remove Halabi’s name from the list.
Last week, alas, the Israel Defence Forces confirmed that human remains found in the Carmel Forest near the village of Usfiya, merely kilometres from his home in Daliyat al-Carmel, were those of Pte. Halabi. The 19-year-old soldier had disappeared in May 2005 while returning to his army base.
As reported by JTA, an Israeli civilian hiking in the area found the remains. They were likely discovered at this time as a result of last year’s enormous fire on the mountain range that left a great deal of the forest floor exposed.
Police have still not been able to determine the cause of Halabi’s death. Nor is it known if he died at the site where his remains were found or if he was moved there after his death.
Hundreds attended Halabi’s funeral last Friday under the deep blue autumn sky over the Carmel Mountain.