An updated assessment regarding the condition of the three IDF soldiers kidnapped by the Hizballah on October 7, 2000, indicates that there is a very high probability that the three soldiers are dead.

The families of the soldiers: Staff Sergeant Benny Avraham, Staff Sergeant Adi Avitan, and Staff Sergeant Omar Souad, have been informed of this assessment earlier this evening.

The IDF Chief of Staff was presented with this updated intelligence assessment, which included information from a variety of sources. The IDF Chief of Staff informed the Prime Minister and the Defense Minister, and instructed that the families be notified.

The intelligence assessment was also presented to the IDF Chief Rabbi for the first time, yesterday evening, for a religious ruling regarding the status of the soldiers. The IDF Chief Rabbi will forward his religious ruling to the families of the soldiers shortly.

The IDF and the Defense establishment continues to make every effort to bring home all IDF soldiers missing in action.

Our hearts and deepest sympathy are with the families.