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Wednesday, December 6, 2006

Captured Israelis 'were injured'

Captured Israelis 'were injured'

Two Israeli soldiers captured in July by the Lebanese militant group,
Hezbollah, suffered serious injuries in the attack, according to reports.
An unnamed Israeli military official, quoting an internal report, said
one soldier was in a critical condition and the other was seriously wounded.

There has been no official confirmation of the reports.

The capture of Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev sparked 34 days of
fighting in which more than 1,000 people died.

A report into the circumstances of the abduction was given to the
defence minister, army commander and families of the soldiers, the Israeli
military said in a statement, but did not give a timing.

"The working assumption of the army was, and remains, that the abducted
soldiers are alive and according to that assumption the army continues its
efforts to bring the soldiers home," the statement said.

The Lebanese militant group has demanded that Israel release Arab
prisoners in exchange for the missing servicemen.

However, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has said that unless
Hezbollah provides proof that the men are alive he will not consider a deal.

Three Israeli soldiers were also killed in Hezbollah's cross-border
attack on 12 July that sparked a 34-day war.

More than 1,000 people were killed on both sides, according to UN,
Israeli and Lebanese officials.

Lebanon said most of those who died were civilians. Israel said 800
Hezbollah fighters were killed, although that figure cannot be confirmed.

In Israel, 159 people were killed, including 39 soldiers.

The UN-brokered ceasefire calls for the unconditional release of the

Under the agreement, a UN peacekeeping force and Lebanese government
troops are policing the border with Israel.

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