Remains thought to be of 15 Jordanian soldiers killed in 1967 found near Jerusalem

Amman dispatches army personnel to the area to try to identify them

Remains believed to belong to Jordanian soldiers found in the town of Hanina Al Tahta north of Jerusalem. Photo: Jordanian Armed Forces
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The remains of 15 men believed to be Jordanian soldiers killed in the Arab-Israeli war six decades ago have been found near Jerusalem, official Jordanian media said.

If confirmed, the discovery would be one of the largest involving Jordanian soldiers related to the 1967 conflict.

The state-owned Al Dustour newspaper quoted a military official as saying on Thursday that army personnel were sent the area to try to identify the remains.

They were found in a hilly area this week in Beit Hanina, a West Bank town near Israel’s separation wall.

Jordan controlled East Jerusalem and the West Bank before the war erupted in June 1967, two weeks after Egyptian President Gamal Abdul Nasser closed the Tiran Straights, blocking Israel’s access to the Red Sea.

“These remains are those of soldiers who have been buried in that place for a long time,” the Jordanian army official said.

“They are believed to have been Jordanian soldiers martyred during the battles that the Arab [Jordanian] Army was engaged in.”

The discovery is thought to be one of the largest involving Jordanian soldiers related to the 1967 conflict. Photo: Jordanian Armed Forces

He said test results that could identify the remains would “be announced later”.

During the brief war, Jordan’s military was under the Unified Arab Command, led by Egyptian general Abdel Munim Riyad, who died two years later in the War of Attrition between Israel and Egypt.

Israel killed hundreds of Jordanian soldiers during the 1967 war as it captured East Jerusalem and the West Bank.

Palestinian police spokesman Louay Irzeikat gave the number of the men whose remains were found as 11.

He said “skulls and human bones” where found at the site, as well as a piece of metal that appears to have been a “sharp object”.

Israel killed hundreds of Jordanian soldiers during the 1967 Arab-Israeli war. Photo: Jordanian Armed Forces

Palestinian media reported that a farmer who was ploughing the land had unearthed a mass grave containing the remains and that the Jordanian army team had already arrive in Beit Hanina.

In 2017, Israel handed over to Jordan the remains of two Jordanian soldiers killed in the 1967 war, which were found in Jerusalem.

The remains of another Jordanian soldier, found in 2021, also in Jerusalem, were buried in the city. He was killed in the Battle of Ammunition Hills, one of the fiercest confrontations of the war.

Updated: January 12, 2023, 6:58 AM