Hezbollah & Israel: Progress over prisoner swap
Hezbollah, one of the fastest growing political and armed movement in our times with successes of gaining vocal power in Lebanon just recently, has achieved another grand step forward in swapping Lebanese Durze Samir Kuntar and Nissim Nasser, Yehia Skaff, and Ali Farratan, a fisherman from Israeli jails, in return for the two Israeli army soldiers captured in 2006, reservists Ehud Goldwasser, Eldad Regev, and Israeli Air Force pilot Ron Arad captured in 1986.
“A German mediator conducted talks with Hezbollah’s officials last week in Beirut,” sources said, noting the possibility of real results.
The source stressed that one may take solace in the fact that Nasrallah, in the sole sentence in which he referred to any prisoner exchange, did not mention the release of Palestinian prisoners, as he has consistently done in the past. Sayed Nasrallah’s demand for the release of Palestinian prisoners held in Israel has, in the past, been the main obstacle standing in the way of an agreement between Israel and Hezbollah.
As was reported in Haaretz last week, Israel has made it clear, via the German mediator, that it would not release Palestinian prisoners in an exchange with a Lebanese organization. Israel explained that the negotiations surrounding the prisoner exchange was underway within the framework of United Nations Security Council resolution 1701, the resolution that ended the 2006 conflict between Israel and the Hezbollah, which applies only to Lebanon, and not to the Palestinian Authority.
The way I (personally) see it, Israel is in a pickle, seeing Hezbollah gaining political gains in Lebanon, and Hezbollah being a constant nuissance to Israel, and frankly an annoying bugger; it’s about time Israel made some concessions towards Lebanon.
The Lebanese people, in it’s majority, would like to see a fair, just and mutual settlement between Israel and Lebanon.
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