Six years after the Second Lebanon War, the pan-Arab satellite television network Al Mayadeen broadcast on Friday exclusive footage showing the incident that began the war: the kidnapping of IDF soldiers Eldad Regev and Ehud Goldwasser.
Regev and Goldwasser were kidnapped by Hizbullah terrorists near Israel’s border with Lebanon on July 12, 2006. In response, Israel launched the Second Lebanon War, in which 165 Israeli civilians and soldiers were killed, with Israel sustaining billions of dollars in damage due to the tens of thousands of missiles fired by Hizbullah on northern Israel.
The bodies of Goldwasser and Regev were returned by Hizbullah in 2008, in exchange for several top Hizbullah terrorists and the bodies of more than a hundred dead terrorists from various other groups as well. It is believed that the two IDF soldiers were killed either during the attack or shortly thereafter. Hizbullah, however, has never commented on the condition of the soldiers until it handed over their remains, and has not raised the issue since.
The footage screened by Al Mayadeen shows a Hizbullah squad, under the command of Imad Mughniyeh (who was assassinated in a bomb attack in Damascus in 2008), crossing the border fence and opening fire at IDF jeeps stationed near the border. Within minutes of the exchange of fire which ensues, Regev and Goldwasser’s jeep is seen damaged and the assault on it is then shown. At that point the image freezes.
Israel’s Channel 2 News, which rebroadcast the video, noted that the footage shows how easy it was for Hizbullah terrorists to cross the border fence into Israel and kidnap the two soldiers.
The Lebanon-based Al Mayadeen was launched last month by Ghassan bin Jiddo, former head of Al Jazeera’s Iran and Beirut office. Bin Jiddo resigned from the Qatar-based Al Jazeera in 2011, criticizing its reporting of the uprising in Syria. Al Mayadeen tries to reduce the influence of the Al Jazeera and Al Arabiya networks, both funded by oil-rich Sunni Gulf Arab countries.
Channel 2 noted that Bin Jiddo is considered to be a close associate of senior members of Hizbullah and was also the first to interview Hizbullah leader Hassan Nasrallah during the Second Lebanon War.
(Arutz Sheva’s North American Desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)