Daily Israel Report
More

Zion's Corner Blogs


Still Not Clear When and Where Goldwasser and Regev Died

Ehud and Regev were killed two years ago – but it is not clear whether it was during or after their abduction. Killing POWs is an int'l war crime.
By Hana Levi Julian
First Publish: 7/17/2008, 11:44 AM

Israel News Photo: (Flash 90)

An examination of the bodies of kidnapped IDF soldiers Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev has determined that the two reservists were killed close to the time of the attack in which they were abducted.

However, it is still not clear as to whether they died in the initial attack, or at the hands of their kidnappers after they were taken captive.

Goldwasser died from a wound to the chest that resulted from the rocket-propelled grenade (RPG) that hit the Hummer he was riding in.  Regev was shot in the head, possibly while trying to escape the burning Hummer.

The identification process took several hours due to the poor condition of the abused bodies. DNA tests were conducted at the Rosh HaNikra border crossing, and a final examination was performed using an advanced imaging system that was brought to the site in order to scan the soldiers’ teeth.
 
Reconstruction of the Attack
The IDF reconstruction and investigation of the kidnapping of fallen IDF soldiers Goldwasser and Regev is still continuing, according to IDF Army Radio.  The principal focus is to determine what happened to the two soldiers after they were taken from their destroyed Hummer into Lebanon.

IDF reports indicate it is likely that Goldwasser was killed in the attack itself, due to his position within the Hummer. Exactly what happened to Regev is less clear.

IDF sources, including former IDF Chief Medical Officer Brig.-Gen. Hezi Levi, note that it is too early to tell if the gunshot wound to the head occurred during the attack itself or if the Hizbullah terrorists “confirmed the kill” later.

The IDF has previously performed several complex reconstructions of the 2006 attack by Hizbullah terrorists.

‘Murder of a POW is a War Crime’
Veteran journalist and Israel Resource News Agency bureau chief David Bedein charged Hizbullah with carrying out a war crime. 

In a statement issued Wednesday, Bedein said, “A few days after Goldwasser and Regev were captured, then-Cabinet Secretary Yisrael Maimon convened a news... in which he told reporters that the two soldiers were captured alive” - rendering them them prisoners of war.

Bedein noted that he personally attended at least 12 more briefings over the next few months, in each of which Maimon said that he relied on Israeli intelligence data saying that Goldwasser and Regev were alive when they were taken prisoner by Hizbullah.

U.S. Rev. Jesse Jackson, acting as an independent envoy, as well as the International Red Cross and the United Nations, all confirmed that Israeli POWs Regev and Goldwasser were alive, he added.

Right up to the end, Hizbullah itself gave every indication that at least one of the soldiers had survived. On Tuesday, just hours before the soldiers’ badly decomposed bodies were returned, the terrorist-linked Lebanese daily Al-Akhbar reported that one of the two reservists was killed during the raid, but that “reliable sources have been unable to ascertain the condition of the second one.”

“Now it is clear that the two died at the hands of Hizbullah while they were held in captivity,” noted Bedein. “The murder of a POW, by definition, constitutes a war crime. The question remains as to which international body will remember that."

“It is the responsibility of every Jew to make sure that the government of Israel holds Hizbullah, Syria, Iran and every international organization accountable,” Bedein added.