Sources in Lebanon say captives will be returned next week
Exchange deal with Hizbullah will have two stages, they say – first remains of IDF soldiers will be traded for bodies of Hizbullah fighters, then following day Regev and Goldwasser will be freed in exchange for Kuntar plus four Hizbullah operatives. Second stage – Israel will release Palestinian prisoners
The prisoner exchange deal between Israel and Hizbullah will go through next week, Lebanese sources told the Kuwaiti news agency on Tuesday morning. According to the report, the deal will be carried out in two stages over the course of a month.
On the first day of the initial stage, Hizbullah will hand over the remains of IDF soldiers who fell in the Second Lebanon War while Israel will return the bodies of Hizbullah fighters killed in battle with Israel, as well as the bodies of Palestinian gunmen killed since 1978 – this following an Israeli decision to completely close the cemetery for enemy combatants in northern Israel and transfer all those who are buried there.
On the second day of the first stage, Hizbullah will release the two captive Israeli soldiers, Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev, in return for Lebanese prisoner Samir Kuntar and four Hizbullah fighters imprisoned in Israel.
The second stage will go through a month's time after the completion of the first, and will entail Israel releasing Palestinian detainees and/or prisoners. The number and identity will be left to Israel's discretion. Estimates are that Israel will release female prisoners, minors and those in poor health.
The Lebanese sources added that the agreement with Hizbullah includes an undisclosed clause pertaining to the exchange of intelligence, which will see Hizbullah handing over a report regarding its efforts to obtain information regarding the fate of Ron Arad. Israel, in turn, will provide information regarding the four Iranian diplomats who went missing in 1982 during the IDF's incursion into Lebanon.
UN: Hizbullah hasn't rebuilt south of Litani
Meanwhile a report issued by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon two years after the Second Lebanon War, asserts that there "is no evidence" of Hizbullah building a new military infrastructure in south Lebanon, Lebanese daily al-Ahkbar said.
The report, which examines the implementation of UN Resolution 1701 in Lebanon, contradicts Israeli claims that Hizbullah has rehabilitated its strength south of the Litani River. It will be released in its entirety next week.
The report also determines that Israel has yet to complete its withdrawal from southern Lebanon, and says that IDF troops still maintain control over part of the border town of Ghajar. This, the report said, may continue to be a source of tension in the region.