Report: Prisoner exchange talks collapse between Israel and Hizbullah
A new round of negotiations between Hizbullah and Israel failed, according to the Tuesday's edition of the Saudi daily Al Watan. It reported that Hizbullah declined to provide information regarding Ron Arad, an Israeli airman missing since 1986.
The negotiations, now in their second round, were supposed to include handover by Israel of two Lebanese prisoners, Yehiya Saqaf and Samir Kuntar, responsible for the death of several Israelis. The handover of the prisoners was to be in exchange for information regarding the fate of Arad, thought to have been transferred to Iran after being captured by the Shiite Amal movement.
German mediator of the talks, Ernst Orlau, asserted that the talks failed following Israel's insistence on information regarding Arad as a precondition to negotiations.
400 prisoners were released by Israel in 2004 as part of the first phase of the negotiations with Hizbullah. The handover was in exchange for Israeli colonel Elhanan Tanenbaum, and the corpses of three Israeli soldiers killed by Hizbullah in 2000.
© 2005 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)
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