Friday, April 6, 2007

Hezbollah: Captives treated humanely

JTA, 4-6-07

A Hezbollah leader said two kidnapped Israeli soldiers were being treated humanely.

Israel Defense Force reservists Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev, whose capture in a crossborder raid last July sparked a monthlong war between Israel and Hezbollah, are receiving the same treatment as that given Elhanan Tannenbaum, Muhammad Kamati told the Nazareth-based newspaper A-Sinara in an interview to be published Friday, the Jerusalem Post reported. Tannenbaum was an Israeli businessman kidnapped in Europe and held captive in Lebanon for several years until he was released in exchange for hundreds of Arab prisoners.

"We are treating the prisoners as the prisoners whom we released in the past have described, and as our religion directs us to treat prisoners of war," Kamati said.

Goldwasser's wife, Karnit, said the statements constituted neither a sign of life nor a "turning point" in efforts to win their release. "We want to see them alive," she told Channel 2 television. "A sign of life is if someone sees them, and a Red Cross representative needs to see them. Until now, no one has seen them, including the Red Cross."

Goldwasser's father, Shlomo, said Israel must talk directly to Hezbollah, just as Britain negotiated with Iran to win the release of captured British sailors this week. He spoke to reporters in Tel Aviv, where he was joined by 150 participants in a cross-country solidarity march for Goldwasser, Regev and Gilad Shalit, who was kidnapped by Palestinians near the Gaza Strip last June.

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