the return of Ehud Goldwaser and Eldad Regev
Ivri Date: 13 Tamuz, 5768
English Date: 16 July, 2008
Hezbollah released a statement saying "Implementing our promise to free Arab prisoners in Israeli jails, our strugglers have captured two Israeli soldiers in southern Lebanon." Later on, Hassan Nasrallah declared that "No military operation will return them…[t]he prisoners will not be returned except through one way: indirect negotiations and a trade of prisoners." No Hezbollah casualties were reported.
On 27 August the Hezbollah chief Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah has said he would not have ordered the abduction of two Israeli soldiers if he had known it would lead to such a war. "Had we known that the kidnapping of the soldiers would have led to this, we would definitely not have done it," he said in an interview on Lebanese TV. On the other side, however; Israeli P.M. Ehud Olmert testified before the Winograd Commission that he had fully planned for an intensive war upon a kidnapping as early as March.
Haaretz reported in March 2007 that Prime Minister Ehud Olmert testified to the Winograd Commission that several meetings regarding Hezbollah were held upon his taking office, and that in response to the likely scenario of soldiers again being abducted, he chose one of several plans of action instead of having to make a snap-judgement if and when such a scenario occurred.
On June 29, 2008, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert declared the two captives dead. On July 16, 2008 Hezbollah swapped the bodies of Ehud and Eldad for Samir Kuntar, four Hezbollah prisoners captured during the 2006 Lebanon war and the bodies of 199 killed Palestinian and Lebanese fighters.