The 2006 incursion by Israeli military forces into southern Lebanon was largely prompted by the kidnapping of two Israeli soldiers by the terrorist group Hezbollah.
Today, the AP is reporting that "a notorious Lebanese attacker, four other militants and the bodies of 199 Arab fighters were traded for two dead Israeli soldiers."
Those two dead soldiers are Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev. Another Israeli soldier kidnapped by Palestinian militants, Gilad Shalit, is believed to still be alive.
Critics are unhappy about the deal. "'What we've done now has made kidnapping soldiers the most profitable game in town,' said Israeli security expert Martin Sherman. 'There is absolutely no reason why Hezbollah should not invest huge resources now, along with Hamas, in the next kidnapping.'" An Israeli official added, "No one should be surprised if Hamas will now raise the price for freeing [Shalit]."
Rabbi Yisrael Weiss, former Chief Rabbi of the IDF, who was present during the transfer of the fallen soldiers yesterday, said that "the verification process yesterday was very slow, because, if we thought the enemy was cruel to the living and the dead, we were surprised, when we opened the caskets, to discover just how cruel. And I'll leave it at that." (emphasis added)
Please keep the families of these men in your prayers.