Two human skeletons, military uniforms and combat helmets were unearthed Wednesday in southern Jerusalem, adjacent to Kibbutz Ramat Rachel and the Arab-majority neighborhood of Tzur Baher. Officials believe the bodies date to the 1948 War of Independence or before.
The bones were transferred to the Abu Kabir Forensic Institute for identification by members of the ZAKA Search and Rescue organization, who were called to the site after a tractor working in the area discovered the human remains.
“This is not a situation we encounter on our daily routine as ZAKA volunteers,” said ZAKA volunteer Nati Blech. “It was a complex operation. We had to dig for hours in rocky ground until we knew we had recovered all the bones for the two skeletons.”
The bones were discovered at the site of an army outpost that housed Arab Legion units in Jerusalem during Jordan’s occupation of the city from 1948-1967. During the Six Day War six IDF soldiers and about 85 Jordanians fell in a fierce battle for the site.