Israel-Lebanon border 370.
(photo credit: REUTERS/Karamallah Daher)
Lebanon will return to Israel on Thursday Ahmed Jamal Daif, an Israeli citizen
from Ara who accidentally swam into Lebanese water in September, the
International Red Cross confirmed Wednesday.
Lebanese security forces
detained and questioned Daif when he swam across the Israeli-Lebanese maritime
Daif was scheduled to return via the Rosh Hanikra crossing.
Foreign Ministry officials confirmed that Daif would be
Speaking with Israel-Arab news portal Ashams, Daif’s mother
confirmed the news, saying with certainty Lebanon would release her son on
Thursday, and expressed hope that Israeli security would not detain him for
MK Ahmed Tibi (United Arab List-Ta’al) spoke with the
family, Ashams reported, welcoming the news.
Meanwhile, Foreign Ministry
officials confirmed that a ministry delegation from the Middle East department
traveled to Cairo for bilateral discussions.
The officials denied,
however, a report on the Egyptian newspaper al-Ahram
’s website saying the
purpose of the visit was to discuss a prisoner exchange for the release of Ouda
Tarabin, the Israeli imprisoned on spy charges for 12 years.
during negotiations that led to the eventual release of American-Israeli Ilan
Grapel in exchange for 25 Egyptian prisoners, there were attempts – that proved fruitless – to include Tarabin in the deal. Tarabin is a Beduin shepherd
arrested after illegally entering Egypt.
One official noted that every
time an Israeli delegation visited Cairo – not an unusual occurrence – the
Egyptian press reported it, while Israel tried to keep the visits
Officials said that with the Egyptian presidential elections
scheduled to occur in another two months, it seemed unlikely that the ruling
military council would approve this move now out of concern that the Egyptian
public would view it negatively.
According to the al-Ahram
Israeli and Egyptian officials were discussing the release of Tarabin in
exchange for 63 prisoners.