Kuntar's brother: Swap deal in 30 days

Israeli sources say it's now up to Hizbullah, after German mediator reportedly removes obstacles.

Kuntar 224.88 (photo credit: Channel 2)
Kuntar 224.88
(photo credit: Channel 2)
Bassam Kuntar, the brother of Lebanese murderer Samir Kuntar who is serving a life sentence in Israel, told German news agency DPA on Monday that he was updated on an approaching prisoner exchange deal between Hizbullah and Israel that should take place within the next 30 days. A source involved in the negotiations told DPA that "all we can say is that the German mediator has managed to remove some of the obstacles on the way to finalizing a deal." Reports of a deal inching closer to finalization began to spread after Hizbullah leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah made a speech Monday evening in which he said "Kuntar and other Lebanese prisoners will soon return to Lebanon." While Jerusalem refused to officially comment on the report, diplomatic sources said that "the ball is now in Hizbullah's court." Meanwhile, Ronnie Keren, the brother of Danny Haran who was murdered along with his daughters by Kuntar, said following Nasrallah's speech that he was willing to see Kuntar released "on two conditions: that information on Ron Arad is given to Israel and that the soldiers Hizbullah gives us [in return for prisoners] are alive." Keren said that no state official informed the family that Kuntar might be released. "This time around, too, no one updates us. The public don't even know anymore who Samir Kuntar is. As far as I'm concerned, he can rot in jail for the rest of his life," he said.