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Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Talks with Hezbullah over kidnapped soldiers 'stuck'

Nearly every day of late, there's an article in the papers that indicates that the release of kidnapped IDF Corporal Gilad Shalit by Hamas in exchange for [pick a number] of 'Palestinian' prisoners terrorists is 'imminent.' I have been ignoring these articles, because for the most part they add nothing new. You can find the latest such article here.

But there has been nothing about kidnapped IDF soldiers Eldad Regev and Ehud Goldwasser since I ran an article about Germany's Mr. Hezbullah eight days ago. And now I know why.

Maariv is reporting this afternoon that the talks to release Regev and Goldwasser are at an impasse. (The link is in Hebrew). Maariv reports that the talks are proceeding on two tracks: the Mr. Hezbullah track, which is seeking to negotiate Regev's and Goldwasser's release in exchange for prisoners terrorists, and the Red Cross track, which is simply seeking signs that the two kidnapped soldiers are alive and well. Maariv reports that a Red Cross representative has told them that both sets of talks are 'stuck.'

The German Mr. Hezbullah, who negotiated the release of 'businessman' Elhanan Tannenbaum and the bodies of three kidnapped IDF soldiers in exchange for more than 400 terrorists held in Israeli prisons, has been shuttling back and forth between Jerusalem and Beirut with no visible signs of progress. And Hezbullah wants something in return for even a sign of life from the two prisoners according to the Red Cross. This despite the fact that Israel forwarded letters from Hezbullah prisoners captured in the recent war to Lebanon via the Red Cross.
“The humanitarian issue has no role here from Hezbullah’s standpoint,” reported the Red Cross representatives to Israeli diplomats. “They want payment and consideration for any hint regarding the soldiers’ fate, and are willing to drag this out forever. Their concept of time is completely different from Israel’s, and they say they are in no hurry to go anywhere. This issue could persist for years to come.” [Translation mine. CiJ]
But fear not. The Chief Fiddler announced today that Hezbullah is no longer a threat to Israel's northern communities.
Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said Tuesday that Hizbullah no longer poses a threat to northern communities. He noted during a tour of northern IDF posts that Hizbullah's positions in southern Lebanon were now occupied by the Lebanese Army and that the IDF was more prepared now, Army Radio reported.
I hope that the next time Karnit Goldwasser, kidnapped IDF solder Ehud Goldwasser's wife, meets with Olmert, she gives him a good swift kick somewhere rather than a hug.


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