Hezbollah Returns Bodies of 2 Israeli Soldiers

Corpses of servicemen who sparked 2006 war back home
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 16, 2008 4:53 AM CDT
Hezbollah handed over the bodies of Israeli soldiers Eldad Regev, 26, left, and Ehud Goldwasser, 31.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Hezbollah handed over the corpses of two slain Israeli soldiers in an exchange at the Lebanon-Israel border this morning, Reuters reports. The soldiers' capture sparked the 2006 war that killed 1,200 in Lebanon and 159 Israelis. Once the remains are identified, Israel will free five Lebanese prisoners, including one serving a life sentence for killing a 4-year-old girl and her family.

The International Red Cross, which is facilitating the exchange, drove the coffins over the border. DNA tests were undertaken to confirm the soldiers' identities. While the Lebanese military organization views the exchange as a triumph—and its supporters were waving flags and cheering on the road from Beirut to the border—Israel's president, Shimon Peres, said the deal caused him "bitter and unbearable pain."