'Israel, Hizbullah moving towards prisoner exchange deal'

Saudi paper: J'lem considering releasing Lebanese prisoners for Regev, Goldwasser; Hizbullah: Reports are "media manipulations."

October 15, 2007 08:39
1 minute read.

Significant progress will be made regarding captured IDF reservists Eldad Regev and Ehud Goldwasser in the coming days, Al Watan reported Monday. According to the report in the Saudi newspaper, European diplomats advancing the cause of Lebanese prisoners held in Israel were requested by Jerusalem to provide sensitive information concerning the health of Regev and Goldwasser. Al Watan claimed that Israel was considering a prisoner exchange with Hizbullah. Hizbullah did not comment on Watan's report, nor did the organization confirm or deny Sunday's report by Asharq alawsat maintaining that the captives were transferred to Iran shortly after they were abducted. "Hizbullah will not answer such reports, which are no more than media and intelligence manipulations, the purpose of which is to elicit some statement regarding the soldiers' fate," a spokesperson told the Lebanese English language paper Daily Star. Only a handful of Hizbullah seniors, the spokesperson added, knew the captives' location and condition. The Asharq report further claimed that a deal was in the works involving Iran and Germany, whereby Germany would release Kazem Darabi - an Iranian sentenced to life imprisonment in Germany for murdering four Kurdish dissidents in Berlin in 1992 - in return for the kidnapped soldiers. The Asharq alawsat report was denied by Israeli and Iranian officials and also discredited by the captives' relatives, who expressed hope they were still held in Lebanon. Herb Keinon contributed to this report

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