Bodies Turned Over Are Israeli Soldiers

JERUSALEM  — Israeli defense officials are confirming that the remains Hezbollah handed over Wednesday are a pair of Israeli soldiers kidnapped two years ago.

That sets the stage for completion of a swap with Hezbollah.

Under the deal, Israel is supposed to release five Lebanese prisoners. The remains of about 200 Lebanese and Palestinian fighters already have arrived in Lebanon.

In Israel, an aunt of one of the Israeli soldiers sank to the ground when she saw television pictures showing two coffins being handed over. Some 50 friends, neighbors and family sobbed, rocked back and forth in prayer or pulled their hair.

In the Gaza Strip, which is controlled by the violently anti-Israel Hamas group, the swap was reason for celebration. People handed out sweets in support of Hezbollah.

Hezbollah captured the Israeli soldiers in a cross-border raid two years ago, setting off a monthlong war.