It was a gruelling day for the relatives and friends of the two Israeli soldiers snatched two years ago. The Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, and his deputy, Ehud Barak, mourned with them as Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev returned in coffins.
Their families had held onto the hope that they might walk back across the border. Hiz’bullah had deliberately refused to confirm they were dead, fearing it might influence negotiations.
When television pictures of two coffins confirmed the worst, the father of one of them said they had had to turn the television off.
The funerals will be held later today. Ehud Goldwasser’s mother, Miki Goldwasser, was determined to remain resolute.
“ I hope people will gain strength from me and will keep their heads up and will not let anyone from there (in Lebanon) rejoice, because they have nothing to be happy about.”
Many have criticised Israel for swapping live prisoners for dead. The Hiz’bullah leader said Israel knew it would have tried to snatch more soldiers if the prisoner exchange negotiations had failed.