Family of Abducted Israeli Soldier Waits for Return

An undated family photo of Ehud "Udi" Goldwasser. Credit: Courtesy Shlomo Goldwasser. i

An undated family photo of Ehud "Udi" Goldwasser. Courtesy Shlomo Goldwasser hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy Shlomo Goldwasser
An undated family photo of Ehud "Udi" Goldwasser. Credit: Courtesy Shlomo Goldwasser.

An undated family photo of Ehud "Udi" Goldwasser.

Courtesy Shlomo Goldwasser

The U.N.-brokered agreement that ended the fighting between Israel and Hezbollah has so far failed to trigger the release of two Israeli soldiers abducted at the conflict's beginning over a month ago.

In the northern coastal city of Naharia, just five miles from the Lebanese border, people have left their bomb shelters and moved back to the beaches. But down the street there's a reminder of the war more stark than the buildings pock-marked by recent Katusha rocket fire from Hezbollah guerrillas in Lebanon.

For the Goldwasser family, this is day 38 of captivity for their son, Ehud "Udi" Goldwasser.

Every day it's getting harder," said his mother, Miki Goldwasser. "I see his face in front of me all the time."

Thirty-one-year-old Udi Goldwasser was doing his one-month-a-year reserve duty in the army, patrolling Israel's northern border in a humvee on July 12, when his unit was attacked by Hezbollah guerrillas. Eight soldiers were killed in that day's fighting. Udi and Ehdad Regev, 26, were taken prisoner.

Udi's brother Ya-ir says his family knows almost nothing about the soldiers' condition.

Shlomo Goldwasser, Udi's father, says that weeks ago his family, and the Regevs, sent official letters through the International Red Cross that could be signed by the captives to signal that they are still alive. The family says a Hezbollah representative in Beirut refused to accept the letters.

"They say we went to war over my son" Sholomo said. "But it was just a matter of time before we went to war with Hezbollah."

Israel's prime minister and foreign minister regularly update the family on developments. But the family worries that political attention spans can be short.

The prime minister has appointed a former senior domestic intelligence official to act as a liaison in efforts to have the soldiers returned. Officially, Israel continues to say there will be no prisoner swap with a terrorist group. But Sholmo Goldwasser wants Israel to do whatever is necessary.

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.