Soldiers seized by Hezbollah seriously hurt: Israel

Wed Dec 6, 1:30 PM ET

JERUSALEM (AFP) - The two Israeli soldiers seized by Hezbollah in a cross-border raid that sparked the Lebanon war in July were taken away in serious condition, a senior military source said.

"According to tests and reports gathered at the scene of the attack immediately after the raid, one of the soldiers was in critical condition and the other in serious condition," the official said, on condition of anonymity.

The official quoted an internal military report, which provided the first public details of the two servicemen's condition at the time of their capture on July 12.

Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev were taken into Lebanon after Hezbollah militants attacked two military armed vehicles in

Israel patrolling the Lebanese border in a cross-border raid that killed three other soldiers.

The raid sparked Israel's 34-day war with Lebanon's Shiite militia that ended with a UN-brokered ceasefire on August 14.

The army said "the report was presented to the chief of staff, the defence minister, the prime minister, and immediately afterwards the findings were presented to the families of the soldiers", but did not give a timing.

On Monday, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert hinted for the first time that the two soldiers may not be alive.

"We did not know if they are alive and we would rather they sat a bit longer in prison then having more soldiers killed," he told a group of students in parliament.

But the following day, Olmert said "our working assumption is that the two soldiers are still alive."


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