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Prisoner Deal Likely – Arad Not Included

ron arad.jpgIt appears that in the coming days, the political-security cabinet will be convening to approve a prisoner release deal that will result in Hizbullah releasing Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev.

A number of cabinet ministers have already announced publicly that they plan to support such a deal, including Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer. Ben-Eliezer explained that as a former defense minister, he is well-aware of the Herculean efforts made by Israel towards obtaining information on Ron Arad, the IDF airman who fell into captivity in 1986. Ben-Eliezer explained that while he is not happy over the deal, which carries a high price, he feels Israel must move ahead with it as to bring the soldiers home whom have been in captivity since July 12, 2006, when they were abducted in a northern border attack, an attack that led to the Second Lebanon War.

Transportation Minister Shaul Mofaz, another former defense minister and a former IDF chief of staff also plans to support the deal, which will result in Israel’s freeing Samir Kuntar and a number of other Hizbullah prisoners, including some taken captive in the Second Lebanon War. The prime minister appears to have a majority of ministers who will support the deal.

One of the signs that a deal appears imminent is the fact that later in the week, the prime minister is planning to meet with family members of Arad. It is presumed that he will tell them at that time that despite committing to deliver updated information to Israel regarding Ron’s disposition, the terror organization does not have anything new to report. Hizbullah in the large 2004 prisoner deal promised Israel that “phase 2” of the deal would include the terror organization providing updated information on Arad.

Arab media reports state that Arad was killed when in the custody of Mustafa Dirani’s troops in the Lebanon Valley, and his burial place remains a mystery.

Those supporting the deal claim that the release of Kuntar will not encourage Hizbullah to abduct additional soldiers, explaining that if the arch terrorist would have been released in the 2004 prisoner exchange which led to the release of Elchanan Tannenbaum and the bodies of three IDF soldiers captured from the northern border in 2000, then the abduction of Regev and Goldwasser may have been prevented and as a result, the Second Lebanon War may not have occurred.

According to most reliable accounts, both Goldwasser and Regev are dead. This is based on a comprehensive investigation conducted by the IDF Medical Corps. The results, published over a year ago, stated that it would have been close to impossible for the two soldiers to have survived their massive injuries sustained in the attack.

Karnit Goldwasser, the wife of Elchanan, stated she is not too optimistic and realizes it is unlikely she will see her husband again, but she is calling on Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and the government to brief her with accurate information regarding the facts in the case pertaining to her husband and fellow soldier Eldad Regev.

Proponents of the deal further explain that if Hizbullah cannot furnish new information regarding Ron Arad, then holding Kuntar takes on a new meaning and he is no longer a valuable asset towards obtaining Arad’s release, but he is now a detriment, resulting in a constant threat by Hizbullah to continue abducting soldiers towards obtaining his release.

Kuntar, who is serving a number of life sentences for a 1979 terror attack, remains in prison to hopefully serve in a future deal for the return of Arad.

Other senior Hizbullah prisoners who were being held towards obtaining Arad’s release include Mustafa Dirani, who was abducted from Lebanon by IDF commandos in 1994 as a bargaining chip towards obtaining Arad’s release. He was held in administrative detention until January 2004, when he was included the Elchanan Tannenbaum prisoner exchange. Another bargaining chip who was abducted and held to compel Arad’s release was Sheikh Karim Obeid, who was taken into custody by IDF commandos from the Lebanese village of Jibshit in 1989. He too was released in the Tannenbaum deal.

The release of Kuntar sends a clear message to terrorists that Israel has all but given up hope of bringing Ron Arad home.

(Yechiel Spira – YWN Israel)

7 Responses

  1. Sick! This kuntar anamal broke into someones house and shot the the children dead point blank and Israel is going to let this pig see the light of day??!! WE NEED THE DEATH PENALTY !

  2. This is a huge victory for Hezbollah regardless of what the Israeli politicians say. Samir Kuntar committed a terribly bloody attack, brutally murdered a family in cold blood and gets out free because Hezbollah kidnapped the soldiers. He’s a folk hero in Lebanon. They chant his name at every anti-Israel demonstration for years. This clearly shows that they can get Israel to fold over to their demands by kidnapping more soldiers God forbid. It’s a tremendous victory for them.

  3. If they are indeed dead, then one should ask a rav if releasing a live terrorist for their remains is the right thing to do?

    I dont know, but i would think that its wrong & stupid!

  4. this is crazy!
    next thing it will become a game for them – kidnapping left & right to retrieve their own terrorists!!

  5. there is a mishna in teruma that says you can’t give too much to get a captive back because all they will do is see it is worth it to kidnap

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