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Lebanese Report: One Soldier is Dead

A Lebanese newspaper reports that one of the two kidnapped IDF reservists was killed in the attack.
By Hana Levi Julian
First Publish: 7/15/2008, 11:17 AM / Last Update: 7/15/2008, 12:47 PM

The Hizbullah-linked Lebanese daily Al-Akhbar reported Tuesday that one of the two IDF reservists kidnapped by Hizbullah terrorists, Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev, was killed during the raid that ignited the war.

The report added, "Reliable sources have been unable to ascertain the condition of the second one."

One of the terrorists who participated in the abduction reported loading the two soldiers on to stretchers and said, "It was obvious that one of them was dead." The stretchers were then loaded into a civilian vehicle and transported into Lebanon.

Another team of terrorists, according to the report, was assigned the task of removing evidence and "cleaning the area of the attack" to make it more difficult for the IDF to track the captives.

The report also noted that the entire attack was videotaped by Hizbullah, which is currently deciding how and when to air the footage.

There was no reaction to the report from the Israeli government. Spokesman Mark Regev from the Prime Minister's Office said the government had "nothing new to say on the matter."

'Whoever Killed Them Must Not Come Out of it Alive'
Ehud's father, Shlomo Goldwasser, said in an interview with AFP that his son's kidnappers should be killed if he and his fellow reservist are not returned alive.

"If the boys come back in coffins, it means someone killed them. In my personal opinion, whoever killed them must not come out of it alive," he said.

Shachar Family Files Second Appeal to Block Hizbullah Swap
The family of fallen Israel Police officer Eliyahu Shachar made a second unsuccessful attempt to block the government from carrying out the prisoner swap with Hizbullah terrorists on Wednesday.

The family filed a claim with the Supreme Court contending that by providing a report which is "empty of real content" regarding captured Israel Air Force navigator Ron Arad, missing in action since 1986, Hizbullah had not held up its end of the deal.

Joining the family in the motion were the parents of other IDF soldiers who fell in the 2006 Second Lebanon War, along with the Almagor Terror Victims' Association.

Cabinet Votes to Proceed with Swap
The Cabinet voted nonetheless on Tuesday to proceed with the swap, despite fierce objections by members of the intelligence community, among others.

As a result, Lebanese child-murderer Samir Kuntar and four other live Hizbullah terrorists will walk through the Rosh HaNikra border crossing as free men on Wednesday. Officer Shachar was one of Kuntar's other victims.

In addition, the remains of 190 terrorists in new coffins will be delivered to Lebanon as well.

In return, Israel will receive Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev – in what condition, no one really knows. Hizbullah has never allowed the International Red Cross Association or any other agency or private individual to ascertain their condition, nor has the group ever released information as to their status. The body parts of IDF soldiers who fell during the 2006 war will reportedly be returned as well.

Deputy Prime Minister and Trade, Industry, and Labor Minister Eli Yishai (Shas), before entering the meeting, said Israel should continue on a dual track approach: "I am certain that if it were possible today to return Ron (Arad) then all those who wish for Regev and Goldwasser to return safely wouldn't prevent it."

Yishai called for the other ministers to vote to approve the ransom deal with Hizbullah, while simultaneously increasing Israel’s efforts to discover Arad’s whereabouts and status.