by Hana Levi Julian
(IsraelNN.com) A report Saturday by the German Der Spiegel magazine that Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is preparing to announce that kidnapped IDF reservists Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev are dead may be premature.A senior political source in Jerusalem quoted by Ynet said “as long as there is no unequivocal information regarding their condition, Israel will continue to engage in negotiations based on the assumption they are alive.”
News of the Der Spiegel report was splayed across Israeli news outlets by Saturday night, with headlines trumpeting the probability of an imminent announcement by the prime minister that Israeli intelligence has concluded the two reservists are dead.
Olmert was in Germany for talks with Chancellor Angela Merkel last week to discuss the matter. Germany has been deeply involved in mediating talks with Hizbullah about Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev, who were kidnapped in July 2006 by the group’s operatives in a cross-border attack that touched off the Second Lebanon War.
Goldwasser’s wife Karnit, who often comments on reports in the news about her husband and his fellow reservist, said she had not received any notification from the Prime Minister’s Office.
“Usually, when there are serious developments, the Prime Minister calls me or the family,” said Goldwasser. “I have not received any new notification from the [PMO] and so I have no intention of commenting on the various reports by foreign media outlets.”
Second Report by German Newspaper that Goldwasser and Regev are Dead
Der Spiegel reported last October in a feature article about the unnamed German official mediating talks between Israel and Hizbullah for the soldiers’ release that both soldiers were dead. The report added that Israeli officials also believe they were killed.
Goldwasser’s wife and Regev’s brother Benny spoke about her husband and his fellow reservist last month in a video hookup with Jewish communities in London, Singapore and Hong. Goldwasser acknowledged that she is preparing for the possibility that Ehud is no longer alive. While not saying he won’t return home at all, she commented that “in the meantime, a year and a half later, I am getting along without Udi.”
Directly from Arutz Sheva:
Israel: Despite Report, 'Assume Goldwasser, Regev Alive'
Sunday, February 17, 2008
by Hana Levi Julian
Wednesday, February 6, 2008
Israel has received a sign of life from kidnapped IDF Corporal Gilad Shalit, according to the daily Hebrew newspaper Maariv.
Egyptian officials involved in talks between Israel and the Hamas terrorist organization said the letter was checked and found to be authentic. It was passed to Shalit’s family, said the source.
Shalit was kidnapped in June 2006 by Hamas terrorists, the same organization whose paramilitia operatives one year later wrested control over Gaza from the rival Fatah faction that currently leading the Palestinian Authority.
The sources said the letter intensified efforts to negotiate with Hamas, which has demanded the release of thousands of terrorists, in exchange for Shalit’s freedom. Many of the requested terrorists were directly involved in the murders of Israeli citizens, and have thus been classified as having "blood on their hands."
But Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has decided to relax the standards by which terrorists are categorized as having such bloody hands. Thereby Olmert can broaden the eligibility for release among the thousands of PA terrorists held in Israeli jails, according to the Jerusalem Post.
Olmert met Sunday to discuss his decision with Defense Minister Ehud Barak, Public Security Minister and former head of the General Security Service (Shin Bet) Avi Dichter, former Shin Bet director Ami Ayalon, Environment Minister and former deputy Shin Bet head Gideon Ezra, Vice Premier Chaim Ramon, Justice Minister Daniel Friedmann and Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni.
The current definition of the term includes terrorists who have masterminded, ordered and organized deadly attacks on Israeli citizens as well as those who physically prepared and carried out the attacks.
General Security Services (Shin Bet) director Yuval Diskin vehemently opposed the move. Israel’s representative in talks with the terrorists, Ofer Dekel, is the one who recommended it.
Diskin warned that releasing prisoners with “blood on their hands” would result in increased terrorist attacks, increase Hamas’s standing among PA residents, and thereby weaken Fatah leader and PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas’s control over the population.
A senior government official said that even if Israel made the concession, “The road ahead is still very long. Hamas has high demands to which we have no intention of conceding.”
The State of Israel has so far not agreed to release terrorists classified as having “blood on their hands.”
Israel National News: A Sign of Life from Gilad Shalit recieved by Israel
Posted by Mr Bagel at Wednesday, February 06, 2008