Today, paratrooper Andrei, 23, saw his mother for the first time in about a year. He had recently been wounded by shrapnel, but he hadn’t told her about it. He’ll spend three days with her and then return to the army to finish his service. For Yuri, 21, it’s been a year and nine months since he saw his mother. But now the families have been reunited for a few days, thanks to the Jewish Agency for Israel, YNet reports.

Dozens of “lone soldiers” (soldiers whose families live abroad) who served in Lebanon during the recent war, were given a chance to meet their parents Thursday after not having seen each other for a long time. The moving reunions were made possible thanks to the Jewish Agency for Israel, which flew the parents in, and which will sponsor their stay in Israel for several days. The families arrived in the country in the framework of a special Jewish Agency operation, in a bid to tour Israel and explore the possibility of immigrating here. Most of the soldiers decided not to tell their parents of their combat service and their participation in the fighting during the war.

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Esther Kustanowitz

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