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ARAB ISRAELI RELATIONS - Oct 15 - Israel And Hizbullah Exchange Bodies.

Israel and Hizbullah, the Lebanese militant movement, exchang a prisoner and several bodies in the first such transaction between the two sides since they fought a 34-day war last year. The two Israeli soldiers whose capture by Hizbullah sparked the war were not included in the deal. Israel handed over one prisoner who was captured last year and the bodies of two Lebanese men who were killed in the conflict in the border town of Naqura. In exchange Hizbullah handed over the body of an Israeli citizen who drowned in the Mediterranean and was swept ashore in Lebanon. The exchange is seen as a possible first step or a confidence building measure in the negotiations over the release of the two Israeli soldiers and more Lebanese prisoners in Israeli jails. Hizbullah said it carried out last year's operation to capture the Israeli soldiers in order to obtain the release of Lebanese prisoners. The two sides are known to have been negotiating through third parties, mainly Germany and the Red Cross, for several months. This is the first sign of possible progress in the talks. Arab newspapers have reported that Hizbullah has handed over the Israeli soldiers to Iran. Israeli reports have suggested they are no longer alive, but still in Lebanon. But there has been no official word on their fate.
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Publication:APS Diplomat Recorder
Date:Oct 20, 2007
Previous Article:ARAB ISRAELI RELATIONS - Oct 14 - Hizbullah, Israel Dismiss Reports That Captured Soldiers Are In Iranian Hands.
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