Muslim leader urges prisoner swap

Founder of Islamic movement in Israel calls on Israel, Hizbullah to reach deal over troops' remains.

Darwish 224.88 (photo credit: Matthew Wagner )
Darwish 224.88
(photo credit: Matthew Wagner )
Abdallah Nimer Darwish, founder of the Islamic movement in Israel, called Sunday on the Israeli government and Hizbullah to step up their efforts to reach an agreement over a prisoner exchange. Darwish told The Jerusalem Post that if Hizbullah head Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah's claims to be holding body parts of IDF soldiers killed in Lebanon were true, Israel should negotiate through mediators about returning those soldiers' remains. In Islam, he explained, there is no difference between an arm and an entire body. Any part of the body is buried in a funeral as if it were the entire body, he said. "Islam is very clear about the need to exchange prisoners or parts of bodies. Islam favors a quick exchange, whether of remains, bodies or prisoners," he said. "It's inconceivable that a mother should be prohibited from seeing her son or visiting his grave. And in this regard we don't distinguish between a Jewish mother and a Muslim mother." "The remains are the result of a war," Darwish added. "Therefore, they should be returned without delay in the context of a deal between Israel and Hizbullah. My advice to the Israeli government is to launch immediate negotiations with Hizbullah, directly or indirectly, to bring back the remains, bodies and prisoners, if there are any. This is the only way to preserve the dignity of those who were killed."