On this day: Goldwasser and Regev captured

July 12 2006: Two more Israeli MIAs


As the Second Lebanon War went on, less and less appeared in the newspapers about the two men whose kidnapping led to the conflict.

Eldad Regev was 25 when he was captured during an attack on their patrol at the Israel-Lebanon border in 2006, Ehud Goldwasser, at 30, was older and married.

Long after the fighting was stopped, the fates of the two young soldiers remained unconfirmed. It took more than two years for Israel to discover they had died and to recover their bodies; a prisoner swap was agreed even before Israel knew whether they were alive or dead.

Their bodies were finally returned in July 2008 in return for 199 Lebanese and Palestinian fighters and four captured Hizbollah men as well as a convicted murderer Samir Kuntar, who killed three Israelis in 1979, including a four-year-old-girl. He was also responsible for the death of a two-year-old baby.

President Shimon Peres described the experience as "a nation in tears", while in Beirut jubilant crowds gathered to celebrate a victory for Hizbollah.

Regev and Goldwasser's bodies were taken over the border, where their grieving families marked their deaths at a military funeral.

Shlomo Goldwasser, Ehud's father, said: "It is important for us but also for the entire people of Israel who need to see that the Israeli government does everything to bring back those who risked their lives for it."

What the JC said: Karnit Goldwasser woke up on July 12 as just an ordinary MA student who planned to spend the day baking her new husband Ehud his favourite pastries. But Ehud never came home to eat the treats she had planned to serve that evening. Early that morning, on the last day of his IDF reserve service, he was kidnapped, together with fellow soldier, Eldad Regev, in a Hizbollah cross-border raid that left eight others dead. The kidnappings threw the region into war and launched Karnit on a tireless mission to plead, beg and lobby for the release of Ehud, who she calls by his nickname Udi.

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    Last updated: 8:25am, July 12 2011