Goldwasser fears politics may foil deal

Mother of kidnapped soldier: If Samir Kuntar had been freed earlier, Ehud wouldn't have been taken.

miki goldwasser 224.88 (photo credit: Channel 10 [file])
miki goldwasser 224.88
(photo credit: Channel 10 [file])
Miki Goldwasser, the mother of kidnapped IDF reservist Ehud Goldwasser, said on Thursday she feared political struggles could foil a prisoner swap with Hizbullah that would bring about the release of her son. Speaking to Army Radio, Goldwasser said: "We are today in the midst of an internal political campaign, and I don't know how this could sway those who are dealing with [the negotiations with Hizbullah]. There are conflicts of interests, and a desire to appease various sectors." In a letter to Prime Minister Ehud Olmert revealed Thursday, she slammed the army for opposing a deal to free her son, claiming that if Lebanese terrorist Samir Kuntar had been released earlier, her son would not have been abducted in the first place. "I heard that the defense minister summoned the heads of the army to discuss the release of Samir Kuntar in exchange for the boys. There were some who objected. And I ask: How dare they object? These are the ones who... made the kidnappings possible." Goldwasser implored Olmert and the rest of the government ministers to vote in favor of a deal that would include her son and fellow reservist Eldad Regev. Kuntar, whose release Hizbullah has demanded in return for the two reservists, has been a central bargaining chip in efforts to release IAF navigator Ron Arad, who was taken captive in Lebanon in 1986. On Wednesday night, senior defense officials said a deal for the two soldiers' release had been finalized, although it would take several days to implement. In addition to Kuntar and several Hizbullah fighters caught during the Second Lebanon War, the deal would entail Israel releasing the bodies of close to a dozen fighters. Yaakov Katz, Herb Keinon and Tovah Lazaroff contributed to this report