Hezbollah have returned the bodies of two dead Israeli soldiers as part of a prisoner swap process with Israel. Israeli authorities will hand over the five Lebanese prisoners after the soldiers' remains are identified through DNA testing.
Hezbollah handed over two coffins, said to contain the remains of Israeli soldiers Eldad Regev and Ehud Goldwasser, which “will be taken by helicopter to a forensics institute in Tel Aviv” to be identified through DNA testing. Only “then the rest of the process will kick in” with “five prisoners, including Samir Qantar, handed back to the Lebanese”, according to FRANCE 24/GRN correspondent Annette Young reporting from the Rosh Haniki crossing on the Israeli-Lebanese border.
The process overseen by the International Commmittee of the Red Cross promises to be “lengthy”.
Mourning in Israel, celebration in Lebanon
Israeli President Shimon Peres on Tuesday pardoned the five Lebanese, saying it was "not a happy day for having to free such murderers but we have a moral responsibility to bring our soldiers home."
The mood in
“There are a lot of questions in
'A victory for resistance'
The Islamist Palestinian movement Hamas, which seized control of the Gaza Strip in June 2007, called the prisoner swap a "victory for the resistance."
"It proves that a useful way to liberate prisoners from the jails of the occupation is to capture Zionist soldiers, since the occupation refuses to release prisoners and keeps arresting more of them," spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said in a statement.
Hamas is also negotiating a similar exchange for Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, captured in a June 2006 raid.
Date created : 2008-07-16