'Israel thinks kidnapped soldiers are dead'

'Al-Hayat' report quotes "reliable" French source; Israel denies, says Regev, Goldwasser are alive.

By EHUD ZION WALDOKS, JPOST.COM STAFF
October 11, 2007 09:29
1 minute read.
'Israel thinks kidnapped soldiers are dead'

regev goldwasser 298 . (photo credit: Channel 10)

Israel is convinced that kidnapped IDF soldiers Eldad Regev and Ehud Goldwasser have been killed, the London-based Al-Hayat newspaper reported on Thursday. According to a "reliable" French source who was interviewed by the newspaper, Hizbullah has not only killed their captives, but has manipulated the situation in order to prevent visits to the soldiers. Israel was quick to dismiss the report on Thursday, saying it was full of "baseless rumors," and that there was nothing new to report with regards to the kidnapped soldiers. "The premise of the State of Israel is that they are alive, and all of our actions are based on that premise. We are doing our utmost to free them," Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's spokeswoman, Miri Eisen, told The Jerusalem Post on Thursday morning. One official told Israel Radio that similar reports in the past had proven to be incorrect. Furthermore, Israel Radio reported that officials in the defense establishment maintained that the soldiers were alive, and that Hizbullah was responsible for any change in their condition. The French source also discussed the IAF air strike in Syria last month, saying that intelligence agencies in the West were certain that the attack targeted North Korean nuclear reactors in Syria. The source also stated that Britain was well-acquainted with the details of the attack due to information from its positions in Cyprus. Israel did not publicize the target of the attack due to fears that doing so would destabilize the Syrian regime, the source said. According to his assessment, Israel believes that if Syrian President Bashar Assad's government falls, the Muslim Brotherhood would then come to power.


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