"They are Still Alive!"
September 02, 2006
The Hezbollah militia attacked an Israeli convoy in northern Israel on July 12 and abducted two Israeli soldiers. This event occurred shortly after Hamas attacked an Israeli military installation near the Gaza Strip and kidnapped one of Israel's soldiers. Israel responded with force in both instances and has been trying since to broker a deal to have their soldiers returned to them.
Gilad Shalit was abducted by the militant Palestinian group Hamas on June 26, 2006 igniting the current war in Gaza. Ehud Holdwasser and Eldad Regev were abducted on July 12 by the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah igniting the 31 day war between Israel and Hezbollah. Both militia groups have used these men as bargaining chips to free their own terrorists from Israeli prisons. Israel has refused to release anyone who has been imprisoned for terrorist activities.
The United Nations Security Council has demanded in resolution 1701 the release of the two soldiers kidnapped by Hezbollah. Hezbollah, Lebanon, and Israel have agreed to the resolution, yet Hezbollah has refused to uphold its end of the bargain. The two men are still in Hezbollah custody and Hezbollah has yet to release them.
Jesse Jackson, Founder of the Rainbow Push Coalition, has injected himself into the situation in an effort to secure the release of the abducted soldiers. This past week he traveled to Syria, Lebanon, and Israel in an effort to find out the condition of the soldiers being held, and when they would be returned home. He led a rather eclectic group of delegates from all across the United States.
After visiting Syria and Lebanon, Reverend Jackson announced to Peres that the soldiers were indeed still alive. However, he did not receive any assurances of their release from either nation.