Report: Hizbullah willing to talk

Lebanese FM reports Goldwasser and Regev are in "good physical condition."

July 20, 2006 21:10
2 minute read.
ehud goldwasser

ehud goldwasser . (photo credit: Channel 10)


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Hizbullah agreed to allow the Lebanese government to begin negotiations regarding kidnapped IDF soldiers, speaker of the Lebanese Parliament Nabih Berri revealed on Sunday. Berri stressed that prior to any talks on a prisoner swap, a cease-fire must be in place. Earlier, Lebanese Foreign Minister Fawzi Salloukh told a French news agency that the soldiers, Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev, were in "good physical condition."

This was the first time the Lebanese government released any statements about the two soldiers, who were captured by the Hizbullah 12 days ago. He also called on the UN - or any other third party - to mediate a prisoner exchange between the Hizbullah and Israel. No word had been heard from Goldwasser, 31, and fellow reservist Regev, 26, since they were captured July 12 by Hizbullah guerrillas who attacked their patrol on the Israeli side of the Lebanese border. Goldwasser's father, Shlomo, 59, said last week that he was desperate for word on his son's condition. "I'm not a politician. I can speak only as a father," he said. "I'm hoping the kidnappers will make demands to prove that my son is OK." The family has previously asked for the guerrillas to let international humanitarian organizations visit Ehud Goldwasser so they can find out their condition. Israeli officials appealed last Wednesday to a gathering of about 100 diplomats to ask their respective governments to help get information on the captives, said Foreign Ministry spokesman Mark Regev. "It would be very valuable and very welcome to the families. It would be valuable humanitarian information," he said. "Everything has a price. I don't think there will be some sort of move to free Gilad without a price. That's not the way it works in the Middle East," said Noam Shalit. "There is no reason not to consider this after this incident in order to free someone who was sent by the state to the front lines," he said.

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