Report: Olmert to declare soldiers abducted by Hezbollah dead
Der Spiegel: Olmert planning to publicly declare Regev, Goldwasser dead; PMO sources reject report.
The German weekly Der Spiegel reported Saturday that Prime Minister Ehud Olmert was considering declaring Goldwasser and Regev dead. The article cited no source, and carried no byline.
The two soldiers were kidnapped in Hezbollah in June 2006, in an incident that sparked the Second Lebanon War. No sign of life has been received from them.
Sources in the Prime Minister's Office rejected the report, and said that negotiations to free Goldwasser and Regev are still underway and the assumption is that the two are still alive.
However, Israeli military sources said the abductees' situation is being reappraised and that "difficult decisions" could be made within weeks.
The Der Spiegel report came just days after Olmert visited Germany, where he met with Chancellor Angela Merkel. Germany is mediating between Israel and Hezbollah in negotiations over the kidnapped soldiers.
PMO sources said unequivocal evidence would be required before the soldiers are declared dead, and that this evidence had not been obtained.