"We believe the boys are alive since there is no proof indicating otherwise," Miki Goldwasser, the mother of kidnapped IDF soldier Ehud Goldwasser said Saturday following recent reports of a possible prisoner exchange deal with Hizbullah.
Goldwasser and Eldad Regev were captured by Hizbullah terrorists during a cross-border raid on July 12, 2006. The event led to the Second Lebanon War.
Speaking to a cultural forum in Moshav Kfar Vitkin, Miki Goldwasser said she has not received any official announcement from the government stating that the soldiers had died.
"We know one of the soldiers was seriously injured and the other was very seriously wounded" she said.
However, Yedioth Ahronoth reported on Friday that Gerhard Konrad, the German mediator negotiating a prisoner swap between Israel and Hizbullah, estimated that the two soldiers were no longer alive.
Konrad has told the Israeli government that he believed Hizbullah was not holding any live soldiers, only dead bodies, according to the newspaper.
'Positive developments in 30 days'
Golwasser went on to criticize the army and the government, saying "there was a sense of complacence – the northern border was neglected and the Hizbullah (terrorists) were positioned along the fence and observed us.
"The political echelon 'blinded' the nation to what was happening along the border with festivities and the construction of lavish guest houses. This indifference was fertile ground for a kidnapping," she said.
"I'm frustrated by the fact that all of my information comes from the media. Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni met (President Nicholas) Sarkozy in France," Upon her return I phoned the ministry and asked to speak with her to see whether the kidnapped soldiers were discussed, but I was told that the minister was busy and that she'd get back to me. She has yet to discuss the matter with me. Apparently she had more important things to focus on, such as the primaries and general elections –I guess these issues are more important than Ehud and Eldad."
On Monday Lebanese officials reported of major progress in the UN-mediated negotiations between Israel and Hizbullah, saying that Konrad had met with members of the Shiite group and that a breakthrough was near.
Hizbullah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah said Monday evening in a videotaped message broadcast at a Beirut rally marking eight years since the Israel Defense Forces' withdrawal from southern Lebanon that "the prisoners are our commitment and Samir Kuntar and his brothers will soon return to Lebanon."
Israel has expressed its willingness to free Kuntar and four other Lebanese prisoners in exchange for the Goldwasser and Eldad's release.
Kuntar, who was jailed in the Hadarim Prison in the Sharon region 29 years ago after being convicted of murdering two members of the Haran family and two police officers during a terror attack on the northern city of Nahariya
Kuntar's brother said this week that the families of the Lebanese prisoners "have been updated on the positive developments that are expected within the next 30 days regarding my brother and the rest of the prisoners who are being held in Israel."