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Thursday, May 17, 2007

Are Goldwasser and Regev dead?

I have speculated before that I do not believe that Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev are alive. This morning, Israel Radio interviewed Ronen Bergman, an investigative journalist for Yediot Aharonot (YNet), who is publishing an investigative report in tomorrow's editions that claims that the IDF has concluded that they are almost certainly dead.

The IDF investigation - which was conducted the day after Goldwasser and Regev were kidnapped (the kidnapping was on July 12, 2006) re-enacted the kidnapping, and concluded that one of the soldiers had been "at least seriously hurt" and that the other "without immediate and highly specialized surgical treatment" had "almost no chance of surviving. The investigation's conclusions were based on re-enacting the kidnapping and the types of weapons used. Note that this assessment accords with one I have given previously in the government's name.

The results were not shown to Olmert or Peretz until August 13, 2006 which was the day after the 'cease fire' was signed and the day before the war ended at 12:15 PM. Bergman himself was involved in disclosing the investigation's existence to Olmert. The IDF claims that they waited to show them to then-Chief of Staff Dan Halutz first, that Halutz did not have time to look at them, and that the IDF did not think they were urgent. In a subsequent interview, Goldwasser's wife Karnit confirmed that none of this was new to her, and although she could not specify the date when they first heard this, it was definitely while the war was still going on.

This is where a real Minister of Defense would have been helpful. If the Minister of Defense had been someone familiar with army procedures (examples from the current government: Shaul Mofaz, Ephraim Sneh), they would have expected the army to do such an investigation and postponed any retaliation for a day or two until it could be determined whether there was any chance of rescuing the kidnapped soldiers alive. This does not mean that there would have been no retaliation. It means that the retaliation would have had a clear and realistic goal, not the goal of finding and saving two kidnapped soldiers who, as noted above, were likely already dead. Amir Comrade Peretz has no clue how the army operates, refused to listen to anyone (as Winograd reported - see item 13 in that link) and decided how to react without knowing what the situation was and what the consequences would be.

Bergman's report is being published in conjunction with his release of a new book on the Israeli intelligence community next week.


At 6:53 PM, Blogger Michael Travis said...

Carl Shalom,

Our North American friends should understand that we have faced such a dilemma with our missing soldiers. Downed Israeli aviator, Ron Arad, Sgt. Adi Avitan, Staff Sgt. Benyamin Avraham and Staff Sgt. Omar Sawaid and Elhanan Tenenboim are cases in point. Iran is responsible for the above mentioned kidnappings..........and should suffer heavy military consequences for their actions.

Gilad Shalit was kidnapped by Hamas, but was transferred to Egyptian custody soon after his capture. Egyptian forces in Sinai should come under relentless and deadly attack until Shalit is released.

Negotiation and the release of murderous Arabs, to rejoin their Jihad against us...has never worked. This is the Middle-East, and as we know in our hearts....only strength will prevail.

At 7:05 PM, Blogger Carl in Jerusalem said...


What is your source for saying that Shalit is being held by the Egyptians? My understanding is that he is to be turned over to the Egyptians as a way-station when (and if) we start giving away terrorists in exchange for him.


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