Hezbollah has agreed to a prisoner swap with Israel. The group’s leader, Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah, singled out one of the five prisoners Israel will hand over as part of the agreement.
Securing Samir Qantar’s liberation was, he said, the aim of a cross-border raid two years ago in which two Israeli soldiers were seized.
Qantar is the most prominent Lebanese held by Israel. He is serving a life sentence for killing a man and his four-year-old daughter in a raid at Nahiriya in 1979. In Lebanon, however, Qantar has many supporters who maintain he is innocent.
On Sunday, Israel approved the deal under which the two soldiers held by the guerrilla group will be returned. Nasrallah said he expected the swap to take place around the middle of this month.
The soldiers are widely believed to be dead.
Britain said today it intends to add Hezbollah’s military wing to its list of banned terrorist groups.