Kidnapped Soldier's Wife Seeks His Release

The Associated Press
Tuesday, August 8, 2006; 2:31 AM

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. -- The wife of an Israeli soldier whose kidnapping marked the beginning the latest convulsion of violence in the Middle East appealed for the release of her husband.

Ehud Goldwasser, a 31-year-old reservist in the Israeli army, was kidnapped with another solider by Hezbollah guerillas during a cross-border raid on July 12.

"He is not a solider, he's not a man who likes war, he's a husband, a student," said Karnit Goldwasser, 30, who spoke Monday at a news conference called by Israeli Consul General Ehud Danoch.

Israel declared the incursion an act of war and unleashed a hail of air strikes and sent thousands of ground troops into Southern Lebanon. Hezbollah has fired hundreds of rockets at cities in the Jewish state.

Karnit Goldwasser, along with her mother and Goldwasser's father, were scheduled to return to Israel on Tuesday after seeking support and solidarity in several U.S. cities as well as Paris and London. The trip was sponsored by the United Jewish Communities.

"My own war is to bring back my husband," Karnit Goldwasser said.

Ehud Goldwasser already had served the three years of army service required of most young Israelis, but was captured while serving the one month of reserve duty required each year until age 40. He had one day left when he was captured.

His wife said she was cooking a welcome-home meal when she heard on the radio that seven soldiers had been killed and two were kidnapped. She sent a text message to her husband's cell phone but got no response. She then tried to call him, but no one picked up.

After hours of uncertainty, she found out that her husband was one of those who were kidnapped.

"It was very surreal because we were very happy that he was just kidnapped," said Karnit Goldwasser, who looked upbeat and was optimistic about her husband's return. "I know he is still alive because we have a special communication between us. We are talking all day."

She said she will not feel at peace until she is having dinner with her husband in their home and not in a bomb shelter.

"No one wants this war," she said. "No one wants to stay so long in bomb shelters. No one wants to know their husband or wife or child is killed. Not in Lebanon. Not in Israel."

© 2006 The Associated Press