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Thousands Rally in Belgium for Kidnapped IDF Soldiers

Thousands of Jews from all over Europe flocked to Brussels on Wednesday to rally for the release of kidnapped IDF reservists Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev.

The families of the captives met with European Union parliament members to appeal for help in obtaining a sign of life from their loved ones.

"We still don't know if they're alive," said Goldwasser's father at a news conference following their meeting with the EU parliamentarians.

The speaker of the Belgian parliament met separately with the families and promised to speak with his Lebanese counterpart, Nabih Berri, in an attempt to obtain information about the captives.

Berri, a pro-Syrian Shi'ite Muslim, has been the Speaker of the Lebanese Parliament since 1992. He has close ties with the Hizbullah terrorist organization and was one of the founders of the Amal terrorist group, which kidnapped downed Israeli Air Force pilot Ron Arad in 1982.

Goldwasser and Regev were kidnapped by Hizbullah terrorists in a cross-border raid from southern Lebanon that, along with a simultaneous Katyusha attack, sparked the start of the second Lebanon War this summer.

Israel's third kidnapped soldier from this past summer, IDF Cpl. Gilad Shalit, was abducted by Hamas terrorists in a raid on an army outpost near the Kerem Shalom border crossing with Gaza.

Negotiations led by Egyptian officials are continuing with the three terrorist organizations who were involved in the kidnapping.

Egyptian Intelligence Chief Omar Suleiman met with Defense Minister Amir Peretz and Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer Wednesday in Tel Aviv to discuss the ongoing parley as well as the fragile ceasefire between Israel and the Palestinian Authority that went into effect five days ago.

"Today's guest is one of the most important and influential guests, and a great contributor to the shaping and stability of the current situation, a supporter of peace," Peretz said, referring to Suleiman, prior to their meeting.

"The [Shalit] affair will reach its conclusion very soon," Suleiman promised reporters after the talks.




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