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Families of captive Israeli soldiers met with top U.S. officials and U.N. officials. The wife and mother of Ehud Goldwasser and the father of Eldad Regev joined other family members in meetings Tuesday and Wednesday with members of Congress from both parties, including Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives; Democratic presidential hopefuls Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois and Rep. Dennis Kucinich of Ohio; and Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), the only Muslim in Congress. They also met with Ban Ki-moon, secretary-general of the United Nations.

The trip was organized by the United Jewish Communities, the umbrella body for U.S. Jewish federations, and the Israeli Foreign Ministry. The tour was aimed in part at raising awareness about, an initiative of UJC and other Jewish groups.

Hezbollah nabbed Goldwasser and Regev in a July 12 cross-border raid that precipitated a war between Israel and the Lebanese terrorist group. The families also advocated on behalf of Gilad Shalit, who was captured by Hamas-allied gunmen and taken to the Gaza Strip on June 25.

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