Dozens of people rallied Sunday in the Government Plaza in Jerusalem and called on the ministers to approve the prisoner exchange deal with Hizbullah, which would facilitate in the return of kidnapped IDF soldiers Eldad Regev and Ehud Goldwasser.
"I hope the ministers will come to their senses and vote in favor of the deal," Miki Goldwasser, Ehud's mother, told Ynet. "We've spoken with the prime minister and we've made our case," she said. Earlier Sunday, Miki Goldwasser relayed a letter to the government, urging it to bring her son home.
Shlomo Goldwasser, Ehud's father, added that "this is the final stretch in a case involving everyone in Israel, not just the abductees' families. I'm always optimistic, it's the right thing to do… We will keep fighting, even if we have to fight for another two years."
"We want all the ministers to look us in the eyes before the make up their minds," said Tair Regev, Eldad's sister-in-law. "We're afraid that if the cabinet doesn't make up its mind today we'll miss another chance to make a deal."
"We only have one message for the Israeli government: As hard as it may be, you only have one option, which is to approve this deal," Leora Lubitzky, one of the rally's organizers told Ynet.
Some of the rally's participants, mothers to soldiers serving in the IDF, intend on reading a letter written especially for the event by Nava Weinberg, the mother of Tomer Weinberg – the sole survivor of the attack on the tank Regev and Goldwasser were in.
'Really only one decision to make' (Photo: Gil Yohanan)
The rally was also attended by several of missing Israeli Air Force navigator Ron Arad's friends; who were calling on the cabinet not to forget the MIA airman and to continue in their efforts to find out what became of him.
Should the Regev-Goldwasser deal be pushed through, the government would be greenlighting the release of Samir Kuntar, who has long been considered Israel's strongest bargain chip for any information pertaining to Arad's fate.
Sunday's cabinet meeting is expected to be longer then usual, as senior officers of the defense establishment, including Mossad Chief Meir Dagan, IDF Chief of Staff Lieutenant-General Gabi Ashkenazi, Shin Bet Chief Yuval Diskin, Ofer Dekel – the Prime Minister's Office emissary heading Israel's efforts on behalf of its missing and captive soldiers and Ilan Biran, the government envoy in the negotiations to retrieve Ron Arad, will be attending it.
They are expected to brief the ministers on the prisoners exchange deal with Hizbullah. The ministers will also be given an intelligence assessment as to the soldiers presumed condition. On Saturday, 18 of the government's 25 ministers announced they would be voting in favor of the deal.
Eldad Regev and Ehud Goldwasser have been held captive by Hizbullah for 718 days.