(photo credit: AP)
"Experience has taught us that we can only get out captives back by sticking to our principles, fighting and carrying out more kidnapping operations," Hizbullah's Deputy Secretary-General Sheikh Na'im Kassem said Sunday.
In a speech marking the return of a Hizbullah guerrilla's body transferred by Israel last week in a swap involving drowned Israeli Gavriel Daweet, Kassem said: "If you want to know the value of the prisoner exchange, listen to (Prime Minister Ehud) Olmert who spoke of the 'heavy price' that was paid."
Kassem praised the prisoner swap his group conducted with Israel.
The Hizbullah deputy chief also spoke of the internal strife in Lebanon, attacking the Lebanese officials who were cooperating with the US. "We are opposed to this phony collaboration and do not accept it. We consider every US base in Lebanon an enemy."
Last Tuesday, a day after the prisoner exchange, Hizbullah leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah said there was "positive progress" in negotiations to swap captive IDF reservists Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev for Lebanese prisoners in Israel.
"I assert that there are strenuous negotiations, continuing sessions that will be resumed within days," Nasrallah said in a speech broadcast on Hizbullah's Al- Manar television station the day after the Daweet swap deal.