The first bodies of Israeli war dead were exhumed at Kantara on Monday (4 February 1974), in preparation for a bilateral exchange of bodies.
The first bodies of Israeli war dead were exhumed at Kantara on Monday (4 February 1974), in preparation for a bilateral exchange of bodies. The return of bodies was part of last month's Egyptian-Israeli agreement which resulted in the present disengagement of forces. A total of 94 israeli and 145 Egyptian bodies have been located by the two sides and will be exchanged. Egyptian officials say hundreds more are unaccounted for.
The cemetry at Kantara East contains the remains of 18 Israelis. They were to be handed over on Tuesday (5 February) in exchange for 27 Egyptians.
The exhumation was performed in the presence of two Jewish religious officers from Alexandria. Egypt's only Rabbi was ill and unable to attend; these were the highest religious leaders available. Representing a Jewish community of about 500 in Egypt, Cantor Moshe Aron Yona and Sexton Menashe Abraham Mory offered prayers at the graves' side.
The exchange of ar dead was scheduled to be completed within five weeks.