The position of Israel and the IDF is that [captive reservists Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev] are alive, and it won't change because of a publication in... any Arab newspaper, President Shimon Peres said Sunday in response to a report in Lebanon's An Nahar that claimed one of the reservists captured by Hizbullah was dead. Peres addressed new Armored Corps recruits at the IDF Induction Center at Tel Hashomer. On Saturday, An Nahar quoted unnamed German diplomatic sources saying that officials in Berlin had tried to obtain "some information" from Free Patriotic Movement leader Michael Aoun about Goldwasser, 31, and Regev, 26. "Aoun refused to get involved in this issue. However, security agencies there understood that one of the two prisoners is still alive and the second had passed away," the report said without further elaboration.
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Miki Goldwasser, Ehud's mother, rejected the report, calling it "a cynical attempt to play with the emotions of the reservists' families."
She called on the government to take courageous and productive steps to secure the captives' release.
Goldwasser's wife, Karnit, responded to the report by saying that to her sorrow, she was "used" to hearing such things.
"They can't play with my feelings, and I know that they wouldn't just release information to [a] newspaper," Goldwasser told Army Radio.
"I know Michael Aoun, so this report isn't worth anything to me," she said.
On Saturday, an Israeli government official told The Jerusalem Post that "the Israeli government doesn't respond to reports made in the Lebanese media."
Aoun is allied with Hizbullah, which leads a campaign backed by Syria and Iran against Premier Fuad Saniora's majority government.
Oren Klass, Jonny Hadi and Noga Martin contributed to this report.