Israeli sources reported on Monday that the Israeli Army Chief Rabbi, Brigadier General Avi Ronsky, is currently assessing the fate of the two soldiers, captured by Hezbollah, in order to decide whether the two are alive or to be declared as killed in action with an unknown place of burial.The two soldiers are Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev, and were captured by fighters of the Lebanon-based Hezbollah party in July 12, 2006 .
The Military Rabbi received intelligence information and will determine whether to declare the soldiers as MIA or killed in action with an unknown place of burial, Israeli Ynetnews reported.
Israeli military sources stated that if the soldiers are declared to be Killed in Action, then the outcome of a prisoner-swap deal would be different as “the price which Israel has to pay for the bodies is lower than the price for captured soldiers who are alive”.
The decision angered the families of Regev and Goldwasser especially since the families were informed of this development only after the intelligence information was handed to Ronsky. The families added that the conduct of the army is humiliating.
Benny Regev, the brother of Eldad, said that such a declaration will limit the chances of returning the missing soldiers, and will push Hezbollah to increase its demands.
Meanwhile, Karnit Goldwasser, the wife of Ehud, said that this news is terrible and described it as “shameful to Israel”.
Karnit added that the families are considering filing an appeal to the Israeli High Court of Justice against the decision to involve the military Rabbi in this issue, the Ynetnews added.
The Hezbollah party is demanding that Israel release hundreds of Palestinian detainees in exchange for the release of the two soldiers. The Israeli security believes that declaring the two soldiers are killed in action will reduce the demands of Hezbollah.
Also, Israel is currently renewing its demand to receive all information that Hezbollah has on the fate of Ron Arad, the missing Navigator whose plane was shot down over Lebanon in October 16, 1986.