Photo: Reuters
Ehud Goldwasse
Photo: Reuters
Reproduction photo: Hagai Aharon
Eldad Regev
Reproduction photo: Hagai Aharon

Report: Olmert may declare Regev, Goldwasser dead

German weekly Der Spiegel reports that Israel believes two IDF reservists abducted by Hizbullah in 2006 are no longer alive; earlier this week, Olmert discussed kidnapped troops with Germany's leader Merkel

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is considering the option of making a public declaration that abducted IDF soldiers Eldad Regev and Ehud Goldwasser are dead, German weekly Der Spiegel reported.


According to the report, Israeli officials have reached the conclusion that the two reserve soldiers, abducted by Hizbullah about a year and a half ago, are no longer alive. However, a senior political official in Jerusalem said that "as long as there is no unequivocal information regarding their condition, Israel will engage in negotiations based on the assumption they are alive."  


PM Olmert was in Germany earlier this week and met with Chancellor Angela Merkel. Among other issues, the two leaders discussed negotiation efforts with Hizbullah over the issue mediated by Germany.


Meanwhile, Ehud Goldwasser's wife, Karnit, said that the family has not received any new information about him from the Prime Minister's Office.


"We are in close touch with the political officials who handle the issue of the abducted soldiers," she said. "Until this time we did not receive any update from them regarding any development. We do not intend to address various reports by foreign media outlets."  


Nasrallah's silence

A public declaration by Israel could hurt Hizbullah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah, who refused to divulge any information about the two kidnapped soldiers as part of his negotiations tactic.


Throughout the negotiations, Nasrallah refused to provide any details before Israel releases convicted murderer Samir Kuntar from prison.


In the past year there have been several reports about the conditions of the two abducted reservists. According to a report by a Lebanese newspaper, which quoted diplomatic sources in Berlin, one soldier was alive while the other one was dead.


Roni Sofer contributed to the report


פרסום ראשון: 02.16.08, 16:47
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