Wednesday, 16 July 2008

Prisoner swap

Reuters has the latest on the prisoner swap:

Hezbollah handed the bodies of two Israeli soldiers to the Red Cross on Wednesday to be exchanged for Lebanese prisoners held by Israel in a deal viewed as a triumph by the Lebanese Shia guerrilla group.

Many Israelis see it as a painful necessity, two years after the soldiers' capture sparked a 34-day war with Hezbollah that killed about 1,200 people in Lebanon and 159 Israelis.

Two black coffins were unloaded from a Hezbollah vehicle at a UN base on the Israel-Lebanon border after a Hezbollah official, Wafik Safa, disclosed for the first time that army reservists Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev were dead.

The International Committee of the Red Cross took the coffins and drove them into Israel. Safa later said DNA tests conducted by the ICRC had verified the identity of the soldiers. The Israeli army said it had started its own checks.

"We are now handing over the two imprisoned Israeli soldiers, who were captured by the Islamic resistance on July 12, 2006, to the ICRC," Safa said at the border. "The Israeli side will now hand over the great Arab mujahid (holy warrior) ... Samir Qantar and his companions."


It seems the Lebanese communist party has not be invited to the official celebrations to welcome home the boidies of fallen resistance fighters—even though many of the bodies are of CP comrades.

Party chief Khaled Hadade told NTV television that he believes the reason behind the snub is because communists continue to believe that resistance should be linked to struggle for democracy.

Hadade spoke against sectarianism and criticized those is in charge of the celebrations (meaning hizbollah and the new pressident Michel Suleiman).

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