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Copyright 2002 Jerusalem Post
Jerusalem Post

October 16, 2002

HEADLINE: Keren Tannenbaum: Let My Father Go

BYLINE: Greer Fay Cashman

"Let my father go," Keren Tannenbaum pleaded on Tuesday, hoping the captors of her father, Elhanan Tannenbaum, will relent and release him.

Members of the Tannenbaum family met with President Moshe Katsav on the second anniversary of Tannenbaum's kidnapping. They expressed their frustration over the impasse in attempts to secure the freedom of the reserve colonel, who was hijacked by Lebanese based Hizbullah terrorists while on a business trip in Europe.

This week also marks the 16th anniversary of the disappearance of Israeli airman Ron Arad, Keren Tannenbaum noted, adding, "We don't want to have to wait that long."

However, unlike the families of soldiers missing in action, who do not know whether their loved ones are living or dead, the Tannenbaums say they are certain that Elhanan is alve.

Katsav confirmed their beleif, saying, "We know for sure that Elhanan Tannenbaum is alive."

Neither Katsav nor the Tannenbaum family would elaborate. But they were all critical of Hizbullah and the Syrian and Lebanese authorities for what Katsav termed the "cruel inhumanity" of the case.

Keren Tannenbaum said that if his captors would not let her father go, they could at least allow his family to talk to him, enable an exchange of letters and tapes and give the family a photograph to reassure them.

She asked people of the free world to imagine her father cut off from the world to endure more than 700 days of incarceration without knowing if anyone still cares, if anyone still remembers, or realizes that he is still alive, and whether they are doing anything in his behalf.

Katsav has reiterated Israel's commitment to do everything possible for her father, she said, but so have many other world leaders and still there are no results.

Katsav raised the matter last week with the president of the International Red Cross, asking the Res Cross and other humaniarian organizations to persuafe Hizbullah, Syria and Lebanon to give the families of the Israeli prisoners in their hands the most elementary information about their loved ones.

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