RealNews

Israeli-Hizbullah prisoner swap in limbo

Exchange of more than 400 Arab detainees for four Israelis is on hold as the status of a controversial prisoner is debated. Negotiations between Israel and Lebanon’s Hizbullah to swap hundreds of Arab detainees for four Israeli hostages are deadlocked over the fate of a single Lebanese prisoner. The stalemate threatens to undermine a much-anticipated deal mediated by German intelligence officials to exchange more than 400 Arab detainees for four Israelis held by Hizbullah. Hizbullah’s leaders have warned that if the negotiations collapse, it will seek to kidnap more Israeli soldiers. “If this deal doesn’t go through, definitely Hizbullah will try to capture more Israeli soldiers, and they might succeed,” says a source close to Hizbullah’s leadership. “Israel should think about the consequences of not pushing ahead with the swap. They can’t protect their soldiers 24 hours a day.” The deadlock centers on Samir Qantar, a Lebanese follower of the Druze religion and a member of the hard-line Palestine Liberation Front, who has been held in an Israeli prison for over 24 years. Full Story

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