Moreover, with Mr. Netanyahu in a tight race with Benny Gantz, retired three-star general and army chief, anything that reminds voters of the prime minister's competence and devotion as Israel's commander in chief would help counteract Mr. Gantz's appeal as a lifelong military man.
Finally, Mr. Netanyahu's announcement came an hour before – and completely buried in the Israeli news media – a news conference at which Ehud Barak, a former prime minister and army chief, and several other retired senior military, national security, intelligence and diplomatic officials attacked Mr. Netanyahu. Their remarks came in response to a brewing scandal involving Mr. Netanyahu's approval of the advanced German-made submarines to Egypt
Survivors customs of bedlam as eight tanks were abandoned and soldiers fled on foot. A mission was killed and about 20 Israeli soldiers were killed. One of the captured tanks was paraded through the streets of Damascus.
Yehuda Katz, a gunner in one tank, went missing. In another, Sergeant Baumel, the driver, and Sgt. First Class Tzvi Feldman, a loader and communications operator, were lost, the army said. Two other soldiers who were captured and the remains of one who were killed were returned to Israel by 1985.
Eventually, Israel concluded that Palestinians in Syria were holding the other missing at the direction of the PLO, which the Israeli army said undertook. a "protracted effort of concealment and deception" that impeded the search for years.
At an army ceremony on Wednesday, the chief of staff of the Israel Defense Forces, Lt. Gen. Aviv Kochavi, spoke of the "great bond" he bears "to take care of every soldier" who swears allegiance to the state. "This commitment is to every family that comes with us, and a commitment to Israeli society who puts their trust in us," he said.