Hizbollah's Nasrallah: Israel Returned to Negotiations over Captured Soldiers
The secretary general of the Hizbollah Lebanese resistance movement, Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah, said Thursday that Israel had returned to negotiations on a prisoner exchange involving three soldiers captured by the group in October 2000 from the occupied Shabaa farms, said reports.
Sheikh Nasrallah said that his party was still ready to negotiate.
The three soldiers - Adi Avitan, Benny Avraham and Omar Souad - were taken captives by Lebanese-based Hizbollah guerillas believed to be disguised as UN troops. Israel has recently declared the three to be fallen in action. But the Lebanse groups refused to comment on the accuracy of the Israeli estimation, saying they would not divulge any information about their prisoners.
The two parties seem to be indulged in a psychological warfare, with Hizbollah focusing on pressures by the prisoners’ families that might be exerted on Tel Aviv to accept Hizbollah’s conditions.
Hizbollah wants to swap the three prisoners, and a fourth said to be a Mossad agent with Lebanese, Arab and Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails.
"Israel has returned to give and take [negotiations] through intermediaries. We are ready to negotiate," Nasrallah told the Kuwait's Al-Rai Al-Am newspaper. He did not elaborate.
Defense Minister Benjamin Ben-Eliezer recently told reporters that Israel had proof from an eye-witness that the three were no longer alive. "Someone saw" the captured soldiers' bodies, Ben-Eliezer said – Albawaba.com
© 2001 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)
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