Nasrallah: We'll help locate Israeli MIAs

Hizbullah chief declares readiness to participate in "humanitarian cases" if Israel releases prisoners.

Nasrallah doh 224.88 (photo credit: AP)
Nasrallah doh 224.88
(photo credit: AP)
UN Secretary-General Ban-Ki Moon disclosed details overnight Tuesday from a letter he received from Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah in which the Hizbullah leader said his group would help locate missing Israeli soldiers in exchange for the release of more Palestinian prisoners, Reuters reported. In a letter to the president of the UN Security Council, Vietnamese Ambassador Le Lunong Minh, Ban stated that Nasrallah "declared his readiness for participation in the remaining humanitarian cases of Israeli MIA (missing in action) of the 1980s." Ban said that in Nasrallah's letter, written during negotiations ahead of last week's prisoner swap, the Hizbullah chief was "conditioning his positive attitude to the nature and extent of Israeli humanitarian moves on behalf of Palestinian and Arab victims." The UN secretary-general added that the Hizbullah leader had informed him in the July 7 letter that further prisoner releases by Israel should "be adequate to the high level of government commitment to the secretary-general of the United Nations and to the importance of results achieved under the UN facilitation." Ban said that Nasrallah also referred to "the high number of innocent victims caused by the war of 2006," adding that he considered it "as a minimum requirement that the releases comprise a maximum number of minors, women and elderly people being held in. . . detention." These cases "go into the hundreds" according to non-governmental organizations, Ban quoted Nasrallah as saying. Ban went on to praise Israel for the latest prisoner exchange in which five terrorists, including killer Samir Kuntar, were released, along with the bodies of close to 200 Lebanese and Palestinian gunmen, in exchange for the bodies of captured IDF reservists Eldad Regev and Ehud Goldwasser. "I strongly commend Israel's readiness to engage in another release of Palestinian detainees and welcome Hizbullah's willingness in principle to further contribute to the solution of the humanitarian cases," said Ban, expressing hope that the next releases would lead to "further humanitarian moves."