Israel brings prisoners to border, trucks with bodies depart

Israel Materials 16 July 2008 10:44 (UTC +04:00)

Israel early Wednesday morning transported five Lebanese prisoners to its northern border, ahead of a long- anticipated prisoners exchange with the radical Shiite Hezbollah movement, reported dpa.

Meanwhile, the first Red Cross trucks left an un-disclosed cemetery for enemy combatants in Amiad, north of the Sea of Galilee, and began transporting to the border crossing the bodies of 199 Lebanese fighters and militants killed in action, which Israel is to transfer as part of the deal.

Footage aired by the Israel Prisons Authority, on Channel 10 television, showed the five Lebanese prisoners, including convicted killer Samir Kuntar, undergoing final identification formalities before departing their Hadarim prison north of Tel Aviv.

Kuntar, in a grey sweatshirt and jeans, short hair and a moustache, answered in fluent Hebrew when asked by a prison doctor whether he had brought his medicine.

The five, all in civilian cloths, were then lined up and asked by a prison warder to say their full names as part of the identification process, before being led shackled to their transportation vehicle and heading to the Rosh Ha'Nikra/Naqoura border crossing.