Der Spiegel: Goldwasser and Regev are deadArutz Sheva is quoting the weekly newsmagazine of the German Der Spiegel as saying that kidnapped IDF soldiers Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev are dead, and that the current negotiations between Israel and Hezbullah would trade Samir al-Kuntar and four other Lebanese
None of this should come as any surprise to those who read this blog regularly. I have long believed that Goldwasser and Regev are unfortunately dead.
Having said that, I would not make this 'trade.' Kuntar is the epitome of a terrorist with blood on his hands - he brutally murdered a father and his four-year old daughter in 1979 (follow the link next to his name above. There is no reason to give up live terrorists for dead bodies. Giving someone a Jewish burial is important, but not important enough to endanger other lives to do it.
Hezbullah apparently also turned over a letter last week that was written by Ron Arad to his wife Tami in 1986. Making this trade would likely foreclose us ever finding out anything more about Arad's fate, or those of Zack Baumol and Yehuda Katz, who have been missing since the 1982 battle of Sultan Yakub.
The price is too high and we are getting too little in return.
Update 3:41 PM
The Der Spiegel story is now online. It's actually not much different than what I have reported previously. Here's the part about Goldwasser and Regev:
A possible explanation for Nasrallah's stubborn refusal to prove the soldiers are alive is not because he doesn't want to, but because he can't. According to a secret internal investigation by the Israeli army, the two soldiers were "at least" seriously wounded. One of them probably died of his wounds, and it is possible that both are already dead.
Tomer Weinberg witnessed the abduction of the two soldiers on July 12, 2006. He was patrolling the Israeli-Lebanese border with Goldwasser and Regev in an Israeli army Humvee vehicle. As Hezbollah opened fire, he managed to hide in a roadside ditch. His arm, leg and lung were pierced by three bullets. He stayed there while the Hezbollah fighters took his comrades. "I didn't hear a thing, no screams, nothing," the 27-year-old recalls, while still wanting to believe the two are alive.
But even if they aren't, it's always been Israeli policy to do all it can to retrieve the remains of its dead soldiers. Jerusalem has repeatedly released terrorists for this reason. Prime Minister Olmert telephoned last week with Smadar Haran-Kaiser, the mother who survived Kuntar's bloodbath. She will not oppose the release of the man who murdered her family.