Written by The Lekarev Report
July 16, 2008
Costly in the sight of Hashem is the death of His righteous ones. Psalm 116:15
Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev
May their memories be for a blessing to all Israel.
ALL ISRAEL MOURNS AND WEEPS
Til the very last moment, we hoped and we prayed that by some miracle, Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev would return to us alive.
I began at 8:30 this morning monitoring the unfolding events and my report follows.
8:30 AM Israel time
Like most Israelis this morning, I am glued to the television, laptop in front of me, to give you a full and descriptive report on this historic day, the return of our soldiers, Eldad Regev and Ehud Goldwasser.
The Israeli Defense Forces have been put on FULL ALERT - the Army, Air Force and the Navy.
At this time, we have seen Samir Kuntar, the arch terrorist at the center of this deal, along with 4 other terrorists, being processed out of their prisons and prepared for the drive to the Rosh Hanikra crossing in northern Israel where the exchange will take place.
We have just been shown the Red Cross trucks which are transporting the bodies of 199 Arab terrorists who had been buried in Israel and are now being transferred to Lebanon, making the price of getting our sons back - 5 living terrorists and 199 bodies.
The two IDF generals who will be the first ones to be told whether or not, in fact, Regev and Goldwasswer are dead or alive, have arrived at the scene. The Goldwasser and Regev families are waiting in their homes for the final word on the condition of their loved ones. Once they are on the Israeli side, they will be taken to a special tent that has been erected where medical personnel are waiting to positively identify the bodies. After that is completed, their families will then be brought to the tent to be alone with their loved ones for a time.
If the bodies are in such condition that they cannot be positively identified at the tent, helicopters are standing by to transfer them to the Forensic laboratory at Abu Kabir.
The convoy bringing the two IDF soldiers has arrived on the Lebanese side. We have also been shown by Hizbollah television several busses covered with flowers that are to transport the 199 bodies.
At the moment, the father of an IDF soldier who taken prisoner in the Battle of Sultan in the first Lebanese war, is speaking with reporters. His emotion is obvious as he recounts how for two years, exactly like the Regev and Goldwasser families, he also did not know whether his son was alive or dead. He said he is shaking inside as he waits to learn the fate of Goldwasser and Regev, hoping against hope that, unlike his son whose body was returned in a previous exchange, they will return alive.
We can now see the vehicles with blacked out windows on the Lebanese side of the border, and have just been told that the German official from the Red Cross on the Lebanese side has just received the information from Hizbollah as to the condition of the two soldiers. He is to relay the information to the Israeli Generals who will inform the families. Once the families have been told, it will be relayed to the Israeli public. We are holding our breath for the announcement.
9:40 AM HIZBOLLAH TELEVISION HAS JUST SHOWN TWO COFFINS BEING REMOVED FROM THEIR VEHICLES AND PLACED ON THE GROUND.
ALTHOUGH WE HAD BEEN TOLD THAT OUR SOLDIERS WERE DEAD, THIS MOMENT - ACTUALLY SEEING THE TWO COFFINS AFTER THESE TWO YEARS OF WAITING, PRAYING, HOPING - IS DEEPLY PAINFUL FOR EVERY ISRAELI.
To the very last second, Hizbollah REFUSED to give any information, deliberately prolonging the agony of the families and all Israel to know, once and for all, the status of our soldiers. The mental cruelty which Nasrallah has imposed on the families of the soldiers is the topic of many commentators at the moment.
The television commentator's voice is breaking as he says that every Israeli is weeping at this moment. On our TV screens now are photos of Eldad Regev, followed by photos of Ehud Goldwasser at different ages. The sadness of everyone is overwhelming - commentators, reporters, neighbors of the Regev and Goldwasser familes who were waiting outside their homes.
Eldad Regev would have been 28 next month and was single. He was scheduled to begin his university studies two years ago as soon as the war was over.
Ehud Goldwasser, who would be 35 next Tuesday, is survived by his wife, Karnit, and two young children.
Both family homes have been filled with reporters since the early hours who now report that moments ago, when the first pictures of the two coffins burst on the television screens, cries of horror filled both homes. Even the reporters, accustomed to many tragic scenes, began to weep.
Israelis by the dozens are gathering outside both homes, lighting memorial candles in honor of the slain soldiers and weeping as if Ehud and Eldad were the own sons. For Israelis, this scene hits at the heart of every home for every parent faces the day that his sons and daughters enter the IDF.
One of the most important elements of today's events is the re-affirmation to Israeli parents as well as to Israeli young people that Israel has not abandoned its long held principle to do whatever it takes to bring our captive soldiers home.
11: 00 AM -BODIES POSITIVELY IDENTIFIED BY RED CROSS
it has just been announced that the Red Cross has positively identified the remains as those of Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev. The bodies are now to be transferred into Israeli hands where Israeli personnel will also conduct their own identification.
It has been a very emotional morning. The IDF remains on full alert as concerns are very high that Hizbollah will attack Israel after receiving back its terrorists.
Lebanese television continues to show scenes in Lebanon which make Israeli blood boil - a huge banner at the Beirut Airport says "Freedom Guaranteed by Nasrallah". Another one says "Lebanon Rejoices while Israel Mourns".
The most despicable scene however, has flashed across the screen twice. Crowds that have gathered at the Beirut airport awaiting the "triumphal" arrival of the murderer, Kuntar and the other five, are seen giving the straight arm "Nazi" salute as they celebrate Hizbollah's "victory" over Israel.
11:25 am - THE REMAINS OF OUR SOLDIERS HAVE JUST CROSSED INTO ISRAEL. THEY ARE FINALLY HOME.
MAY THEIR MEMORIES BE FOR A BLESSING AND MAY THEIR FAMILIES BE COMFORTED WITH ALL THE MOURNERS IN ZION AND IN JERUSALEM.
May Hashem bring Shalom to the Goldwasswer and Regev families and heal their broken hearts, and the hearts of all Israel,
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