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The families of the soldiers captured on the Lebanese border are demanding to know what diplomatic moves are afoot to free the soldiers - and whether a prisoner exchange is in the cards.

Addressing the media for the first time on Friday evening, the families urged the government "not to forget the abducted soldiers" and asked whether it was doing everything possible to release the soldiers. Eldad Regev of Kiryat Motzkin and Udi Goldwasser of Nahariya were captured last Wednesday by Hezbollah guerrillas who crossed into Israel.

"The Israel Defense Forces representatives visited us and we talked to Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni but we have not received any answers. We have no information beyond what is already known. We don't know if Eldad is alive...we ask and demand answers," says Eyal, the brother of Eldad Regev.

His brother Eyal demanded that the International Red Cross be permitted to visit the captured soldiers, and that everything be done to bring them home.

"We are a strong, supportive family," said Eyal Regev. "The family is in a very bad way... Despite the heavy fighting in the north we demand that the abducted soldiers not be forgotten," he said.

His father Zvi Regev called on Hezbollah "to keep him well and safe and return him home. It's very hard for me, I spoke to him the day before [he was captured] and he told me everything was fine."

Earlier on Friday Interior Minister Roni Bar-On visited the Regev family. So did Kassem Souad, whose son Omar was ambushed and killed by Hezbollah gunmen on the Lebanese border in October 2000, along with Benny Avraham and Adi Avitan.

"I've been living it for six years. I see now that not enough was done at the time to bring our children ho me. Now the response is good," he said.

Haim Avraham, father of the captured soldier Benny Avraham also came to support the family.

On Wednesday afternoon Goldwasser was presumed dead and only in the evening, after the slain soldier's body from the Hummer he had travelled in had been identified, the army informed the family that Goldwasser was "missing."

Goldwasser's parents returned from South Africa on Friday afternoon. Today his brother, who was travelling in India, is due to return. The family is gathered in the home of Goldwasser's wife, Karnit.