Archive: 7/15/2008
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  7/15/2008, Tammuz 12, 5768

IDF Chief of Staff Orders 'Return of the Sons'


Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Gabi Ashknazi has ordered the IDF to begin Operation “Return of the Sons” for the prisoner exchange with Hizbullah. The IDF Northern Command will declare the area surrounding the Rosh HaNikra border crossing a “closed military zone” to facilitate the exchange.

Under the supervision of C.O. Northern Command Maj. Gen. Gadi Eisenkott, 199 sets of bodily remains will be transferred to Jordanian officials, acting on behalf of the International Committee of the Red Cross. The I.C.R.C. representatives will then take the remains northwards for burial in Lebanon.

The IDF has placed units at the Rosh HaNikra crossing, specifically for the likely purpose of identifying the bodies which the Hizbullah will hand over as captive IDF soldiers Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev.  Samples taken from the bodies will be airlifted by helicopter to central Israel for verification. Once the IDF verifies their identities, the five live prisoners will be handed over: four terrorists captured alive during the 2006 Lebanon War and convicted child murderer and terrorist commander Samir Kuntar.