The families of Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev were reunited with the bodies of the abducted soldiers.
The bodies were taken to the Shraga army base Wednesday evening, where their families were waiting to meet the caskets draped in Israeli flags, after the Israel Defense Forces confirmed that the bodies handed over by Lebanon were those of Goldwasser and Regev. Their military funerals are scheduled for Thursday.
Army officials notified the families of the results of the identification process on Wednesday afternoon. The father of abducted soldier Gilad Shalit also visited the Goldwasser home.
The Lebanese militia on Wednesday morning delivered two black coffins to the Red Cross at the Israeli border, saying they contained the bodies of Goldwasser and Regev, Israeli soldiers Hezbollah seized in a 2006 border raid.
On Wednesday afternoon, Israel transferred five jailed Lebanese terrorists to Lebanon after the IDF identified the seriously deteriorated bodies.
Goldwasser was posthumously promoted to the rank of sergeant major and Regev to sergeant first class
“We have completed the identification process of Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev,” IDF spokesman Brig.-Gen. Avi Benayahu told reporters. “The decision to declare them dead was made by medical sources and by Jewish law. The IDF bows its head and its flags.”
The bodies of 199 slain Arab terrorists also were sent by truck from an Israeli military cemetery to the Rosh Hanikra border crossing, where they were received by the Red Cross and turned over to Lebanon.