The prisoner swap between Israel and Lebanon’s Hiz’bullah is underway.
One of those being exchanged is Samir Kantar who has been behind bars for nearly 30 years. He was sentenced to multiple life terms for killing a four-year-old Israeli girl, her father and another man. Four other prisoners of the Israelis are going home with him. But Kantar was the main bargaining chip in a saga which will see the handover of two Israeli soldiers.
The father of one of the Israelis, Eldad Regev, is holding out hope, but the Israeli government believes both Regev and Ehud Goldwasser are dead and only their remains will be handed back.
“It is troubling for Israel,” said Amos Harel, an analyst at the Haaretz daily newspaper. “We are freeing live prisoners for two dead soldiers and that is a precedent.”
The Red Cross is organising the exchange.
The Israelis have also been exhuming the bodies of 199 Arab militants said to have been killed in attacks on Israel. They are being sent back to their relatives too.