Gov't releases tape of Hizbullah captive

Radio report says move was intended as gesture to speed the release of Goldwasser and Regev.

regev goldwasser 298  (photo credit: Channel 10)
regev goldwasser 298
(photo credit: Channel 10)
Israel has released an interview with a Hizbullah operative it is holding, an official said Friday, in an apparent gesture to the Lebanese-based militia to win the release of captive reservists Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev. The tape of the Hizbullah prisoner was aired Thursday on the Saudi Arabian-owned satellite channel MBC, Army Radio reported Friday. Government spokesman Mark Regev confirmed that Israel had released the tape aired on MBC. But he would not say why. The radio said the publication was apparently part of an Israeli goodwill gesture to get Hizbullah to release Goldwasser and Regev, whose capture in July sparked the Second Lebanon War. Hizbullah in Lebanon refused to comment. The Iranian-backed militia has not allowed the Red Cross to see the soldiers, and it is not known whether they are alive or dead. Israel is thought to be holding seven Lebanese prisoners. Talks of a new prisoner swap to bring home the two captured soldiers have not yielded any results so far. But Hizbullah leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah said in October that there had been "positive progress" in negotiations.