Speaking to CNN from Haifa, Israel, the wife and father of Ehud Goldwasser, 31, and the brother of Eldad Regev, 26, said they have had no contact with the men since they were taken into Lebanon after a cross-border raid by Hezbollah militants July 12. Eight other Israeli soldiers were killed in the clash.
“The army’s talking with us and lets us know what (it) knows, and right now, it’s not much,” Beni Regev said.
The soldiers are both reservists — both graduate students in civilian life — who were serving stints of only a few weeks in the Israel Defense Forces. And both should have been home by now.
“The day he was taken, it was his last day,” said Karnit Goldwasser, Ehud’s wife. “I was waiting for him. I planned his return home, I made him the dessert that he (wanted). Our cats were waiting for him, our dog also.”
Beni Regev said July 12 was to have been Eldad’s last day of service as well. On that Wednesday, “We also tried to get him on the phone … and he didn’t answer, and by the afternoon the army told us that he is missing, and from that point we (haven’t) heard from him.”
All three agreed that the hardest part of coping with the men’s absence is simply being so in the dark.
“I want to believe (he’s alive),” said Shlomo Goldwasser, Ehud’s father. “I’m a practical man — I believe, yes, but I want proof.”
Karnit Goldwasser said that although her mind tells her that her husband is alive, “I want to see it by my eyes, and not by my mind.”
The two reservists were in familiar territory when they were captured. Both are from northern Israel: Goldwasser lives in Nahariya; Regev outside Haifa. Since their abduction, the Israel-Lebanon border has turned deadly. Sixteen Israeli soldiers and 15 civilians have been killed, according to the IDF, while in Lebanon, more than 200 have died.
Karnit, a newlywed, said there has been enough violence.
“We want the killing to be stopped, both in Israel and in Lebanon. We want everything to be back as it was before, no killing, no kidnapping, we want them back home.”
Goldwasser’s father said capturing the two men has turned the world’s attention to Hezbollah, and called on the militants to act accordingly.
“Those who kidnapped our sons, they are fully responsible for their safety,” Shlomo Goldwasser said. “At the end of the story they will also be fully responsible for their safe return. Keep their safety.”