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Israel starts exhuming bodies ahead of handover

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Israel starts exhuming bodies ahead of handover


Israel has begun exhuming the bodies of slain Palestinian and Lebanese fighters, ahead of a prisoner exchange with Hizbullah. The agreement between Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Hizbullah’s Hassan Nasrallah will also see Israel hand over five Lebanese prisoners in return for two soldiers kidnapped two years ago.

The capture of Ehud Goldwasser and fellow soldier Eldad Regev sparked Israel’s month-long war against Hizbullah in 2006. They’re both believed to be dead.

Israel will release its most high-profile prisoner, Samir Kantar, who was jailed for life for a 1979 attack which killed a policeman, another man and his four-year-old daughter.

The policeman’s family has launched legal action to stop his release, but it is not expected to succeed.

The exchange is expected to take place next week. The Israeli cabinet must still give its final approval to a number of last minute issues.

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