Hizb Allah insists on prisoner release

Armed resistance group Hizb Allah says it will agree to a prisoner exchange with Israel only if one of the Lebanese fighters who has been in prison for more than 20 years is released.

    Armed resistance group Hizb Allah is open to negotiations

    Hizb Allah chief Hasan Nasr Allah informed the German mediators working to secure the prisoner exchange that any deal would have to include the release of Samir Qantar.

    However, Nasr Allah added that the group was willing to negotiate on the release of key individuals. Qantar was jailed for life for killing two Israelis in 1979. A third Israeli died during the same attack.

    The prisoner exchange could see Israel releasing about 400 Palestinians and dozens of Lebanese and other Arab nationals, in exchange for Israeli businessman Elhanan Tannenbaum, captured in 2000 by Hizb Allah.

    Hizb Allah has also detained the bodies of three Israeli soldiers, which Israel wants returned so that they can be buried.

    The Israeli cabinet has conditionally approved the prisoner exchange deal with Hizb Allah, but refused to release any prisoner with Jewish "blood on his hands", including Qantar.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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