Hizbullah continues to kidnap: The Lebanese group announced Wednesday that the organization had succeeded in kidnapping two soldiers on the northern border. The defense established has not confirmed this report. If the statement is true, this is another success of one of the organization's favored tactics in recent years.
According to Hizbullah's leader, Hassan Nasrallah, the kidnapping of soldiers on the northern border is a "quality operation."
It not only lowers Israeli moral, but also serves as a valuable bargaining chip to secure the release of Palestinian prisoners, thus establishing Hizbullah as a champion in the eyes of the Palestinian people and the extremist Islam movements in the Middle East.
The terror organization's last kidnapping attempt occurred last November, at a time when heavy mortar fire fell on the Dov Mount and Kfar Rajar area, resulting in the injury of eleven people. At that time, residents of Metula, Kiryat Shmona, Nahariya and communities in the western Galilee valleys were asked to enter their bomb shelters for the first time since Israel left Lebanon in 2000. Despite renewed volleys of mortars, no additional individuals were injured.
At the time of the attack, soldiers from a paratroopers regiment were stationed in ambush near the Kfar Rajar barrier and encountered an elite Hizbollah cell, on off-road vehicles and motorbikes, preparing for a kidnapping attempt. Paratrooper David Markowitz, only eight months in the army at the time, shot at the operatives, consequently preventing the kidnapping.
The most difficult event in the area, however, occurred in October of 2000, at which time three soldiers, Benny Avraham from Bnei-Brak, Adi Avitan from Tiberias and Omar Suwaeid from Kfar Salameh, were kidnapped by the Hizbollah.
Three years later, in January 2004, the bodies of the three soldiers were returned to Israel, along with an additional kidnap victims, Elhanan Tennenbaum. Their return came at a heavy price: a large number of released Lebanese and Palestinian prisoners, among them terrorists Mustafa Dirani and Sheikh Karim Obeid.