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Hizbullah Secretary General Nasrallah
Photo: Reuters
Preparing for Kuntar's return
Photo: Reuters
Hizbullah: Deal proves our strength
Lebanese organization holds up prisoner exchange deal approved by cabinet as testament of its strength. Samir Kuntar's brother says Hizbullah to marshal festivities for his return while Kuntar's attorney says after his release he may start a family

Hizbullah celebrated the decision of the Israeli cabinet on Sunday to approve the proposed prisoner exchange deal. Kidnapped soldiers Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev, presumed dead by the military and government, will be traded for notorious terrorist Samir Kuntar and four additional Lebanese prisoners.

 

In Beirut, the organization said the decision reflected the group's strength.

 

"What happened in the prisoners issue is a proof that the word of the resistance is the most faithful, strongest and supreme," the Hizbullah-owned Al-Manar Television quoted the organization's Executive Council chief Hashem Safieddine as saying.

 

The Palestinian Authority also voiced its satisfaction of the deal. A Palestinian official told Ynet: "Everyone today knows that Israel only understands force. Prisoners, we see again, can only be freed by pressuring Israel and not through negotiations."  


Preparations for Kuntar's return (Photo: AFP)

 

Kuntar's brother, Bassam, also praised Hizbullah.

 

"During the war of July 2006 (Hizbullah) vowed the prisoners would be released and said the whole world would not be able to realize the Israeli goal – retrieving the soldiers, without the resistance forcing its terms on the deal, releasing prisoners," said Safieddine.

 

Speaking at a memorial ceremony organized by the Shiite 'Amal' organization, Safieddine went on to say that if Israel were to withdraw from the Shebaa Farms, it would constitute a victory for the way the resistance is perceived and a testament to its strength and standing.

 

 Hizbullah celebrated the decision of the Israeli cabinet on Sunday to approve the proposed prisoner exchange deal. Kidnapped soldiers Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev, presumed dead by the military and government, will be traded for notorious terrorist Samir Kuntar and four additional Lebanese prisoners.

 

In Beirut, the organization said the decision reflected the group's strength.

 

"What happened in the prisoners issue is a proof that the word of the resistance is the most faithful, strongest and supreme," the Hizbullah-owned Al-Manar Television quoted the organization's Executive Council chief Hashem Safieddine as saying.

 

"During the war of July 2006 (Hizbullah) vowed the prisoners would be released and said the whole world would not be able to realize the Israeli goal – retrieving the soldiers, without the resistance forcing its terms on the deal, releasing prisoners," said Safieddine.

 

Speaking at a memorial ceremony organized by the Shiite 'Amal' organization, Safieddine went on to say

that if Israel were to withdraw from the Shebaa Farms, it would constitute a victory for the way the resistance is perceived and a testament to its strength and standing.

 

Kuntar's attorney: He'll start a family

Kuntar's brother, Bassam, also praised Hizbullah, and told Al-Manar that the returning prisoners would receive a hero's welcome. "They will get their due respect in Beirut and in each of their hometowns. All of Lebanon will celebrate with Samir Kuntar in his village of Aabey. The majority of the celebrations will be organized by Hizbullah," he said.

 

Posters of Kuntar were hung throughout the city of Sidon and other areas in Lebanon.

 

Kuntar's attorney, Elias Sabag was with his client a short hours before he received word of the cabinet's decision.

 

"He was tense," Sabag told Ynet. "I was convinced the government would vote in favor. I advised him to be optimistic. We welcome the decision and hope it will help advance the Shalit deal. This is a step in the right direction."

 

As for his client's future, Sabag rejected the claim he would return to terrorism. "A man who has just spent 30 years in prison needs to recuperate. It will take him another 30 years just to get over prison. I think he will start a new life, maybe build a family."

 

Roni Sofer and Roni Lipshitz contributed to this report

 


פרסום ראשון: 06.29.08, 18:45
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