A tumultuous and joyous crowd greeted 56 of the Israeli prisoners taken in the October war when they arrived home from Syria on Thursday (6th June).
A tumultuous and joyous crowd greeted 56 of the Israeli prisoners taken in the October war when they arrived home from Syria on Thursday (6th June). Even before the steps were placed by the aircraft, the crowd of thousands at Tel Aviv airport had broken through police barriers and rushed the 'plane. Because of the commotion, the official welcoming ceremony was cancelled. Both Mrs. Golda Meir, the former Prime Minister and her replacement, Yitzhak Rabin were among the crowd.
Three Bedouin Arab watchmen were among the group of prisoners, and members of their tribe were with the other relatives and friends at the airport. One of the Bedouins said that the Syrians did not appear to know how to behave towards him and the other Bedouins but he said they had been treated quite well. One Israeli prisoner said the Syrians had beaten them at the beginning but that conditions had improved later.
Twelve wounded Israeli prisoners who were returned last Saturday (1st June), presented the new arrivals with bouquets of roses.
After the reunions, the soldiers were taken to a nearby military base for briefing and examinations. They were later allowed to rejoin their families and all have been offered extended holidays at rest centres.