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Update on Three Kidnapped Soldiers

Monday, August 27, 2001 | Tag Cloud

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud BaraK today said the Red Cross will visit the three IDF soldiers kidnapped by Hizb'Allah on Saturday along the Lebanese border.

Speaking in a joint press conference with UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, Barak said Israel expects their immediate release, since it was a clear-cut violation of international law and UN resolutions, to which Annan agreed. Barak said, "We hold Syria... as the dominant player in Lebanon, responsible for the quick resolution of this issue."

The three soldiers were part of a patrol ambushed by Hizb'Allah units who had crossed over into Israel at an unfenced area near Har Dov on Mount Hermon. The missing soldiers are Sergeant Major Benny Avraham from Bnei Brak, Sergeant Major Suad Omar, a Druze from Kfar Salameh, and Sergeant Adi Avitan from Tiberias. One soldier managed to escape the ambush, while an IDF spokesman confirmed late Monday night that the three captured soldiers were hurt during the incident, judging by the blood traces found at the scene.

A Hizb'Allah spokesman said on Tuesday that the Shi'ite organization will demand the release of 19 Lebanese prisoners held in Israel, including Sheikh Abd al Karim Obeid and Mustafa Dirani, in return for information on the three. "We will not offer any free information, not today, after a week or in a month... Experience has taught us that information on a soldier, whether he is dead or alive, in good condition or not... can't be for free."

UN Secretary General Kofi Annan said today that the kidnapping of the soldiers is a violation of UN resolution 425. He said that although he had not been able to see the three soldiers, he believed they were alive and well. The secretary general left Israel for Lebanon later today to continue his negotiations to bring about the soldiers' release.

Israel has beefed up security along the northern border, which continues to be volatile, with sporadic stone-throwing incidents orchestrated by the Hizb'Allah. Between Sunday and today, stun and hand grenades, a firebomb and rocks were hurled across the border at Israeli troops and a moshav.

Used with Permission from International Christian Embassy Jerusalem.

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Worthy Christian News » Israel-Palestinian Conflict » Update on Three Kidnapped Soldiers