Israel approves prisoner exchange

Israel's cabinet has approved a prisoner swap with the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah.

The swap would see the return of the bodies of two Israeli soldiers captured by Hezbollah two years ago reported BBC.

The Lebanese prisoners to be freed reportedly include Samir Qantar, in jail for murder since 1979.

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said earlier that the two soldiers were dead. Their capture triggered Israel's offensive against Hezbollah in mid-2006.

The cabinet approved the German-brokered exchange by 22 votes out of 25 present at the meeting, Israeli radio reported.

Before the vote, Mr Olmert had urged his cabinet to approve the swap, even though he said the two soldiers were probably dead.

"We know what happened to them," Mr Olmert was quoted telling his cabinet by the Associated Press.

He said they had probably been killed during the raid or shortly after. Evidence from the scene of their capture indicated that at least one of them was badly wounded.

"There is no doubt that today's discussion has special weight and is exceptionally sensitive in terms of its national and moral implications," Mr Olmert said before cabinet convened.

Observers say it is the first time the Israeli government has confirmed that Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev are no longer alive.

Critics have opposed swapping prisoners for the bodies of dead Israeli troops.

In exchange for the soldiers, it is reported that five Lebanese detainees are to be set free and the bodies of about 10 militants handed over.

One of these is said to be Samir Qantar, who has been in jail since 1979 for his part in a deadly guerrilla raid.

His release would be controversial in Israel because of his role in the deaths of three members of one family, says the BBC's Wyre Davies in Jerusalem.

Hezbollah has given no public indication that the two Israeli soldiers are still alive.

The Red Cross has never been allowed to see them and many in Israel assume they are dead.

Israel and Hezbollah fought a 34-day war after the soldiers were seized by Hezbollah in a cross-border raid into Israel in July 2006.

Germany has been trying to broker a prisoner exchange since the war ended.

On 1 June, Hezbollah handed over the remains of five Israeli soldiers killed in the war.

The remains were delivered after Israel released a Lebanese-born man who had served six years in prison for spying for Hezbollah.

Another Israeli soldier, Gilad Shalit, remains a prisoner of the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas.

He was seized in a raid on an Israeli army position on the edge of the Gaza Strip. Hamas has said it would consider releasing him as part of a prisoner exchange.

Uzbek Reconstruction and Development Fund to support creation of Export Support Fund
Uzbek Reconstruction and Development Fund to support creation of Export Support Fund
USD falls against Uzbek soum for the first time in three months
USD falls against Uzbek soum for the first time in three months
Georgia reveals results of 18 foreign exchange auctions conducted by National Bank
Georgia reveals results of 18 foreign exchange auctions conducted by National Bank
Loading Bars
Latest
Germany reports 8,685 new COVID-19 cases
Footage from liberated from occupation Gubadli city (VIDEO)
Footage from liberated from occupation Khanligr village of Gubadli region (VIDEO)
Armenia does not want to take bodies of its deceased soldiers as it fears anger of people - Assistant to the President of Azerbaijan
Kazakh PM meets with Turkish Defense Minister
Footage from liberated from occupation Padar village of Gubadli region (VIDEO)
Azerbaijan neutralizes one of 3 missiles shot by Armenian troops at Azerbaijan's Tartar
Azerbaijan's Bank Association denies lies spread by Armenian side
Effective co-op in field of border security established between Azerbaijan, Iran
Armenian Armed Forces shell Azerbaijan’s Tartar by using 'Smerch' missiles
Armenia indiscriminately targets civilians - Assistant to Azerbaijani president
Azerbaijanis hold rally in California, condemning Armenian terror (PHOTO)
Azerbaijani compatriots living in Minnesota hold protest rally (PHOTO)
Armenian Armed Forces shelling Azerbaijan's Tartar city, villages
Armenian armed forces shelling Tartar city with artillery, missiles in gross breach of humanitarian ceasefire
Iran's powder detergent production grows
Azerbaijanis in Denmark hold protest rally against Armenian terror (PHOTO)
Turkish embassy in Georgia talks joint energy projects of Georgia, Azerbaijan, Turkey
Protest rally against Armenian attack on Ganja held in Bielefeld, Germany (PHOTO)
Iranian Energy Exchange announces products to be on sale October 27
Armenian Armed Forces’ quadrocopter destroyed by Azerbaijani troops
Al Jazeera posts article covering aftermath of Armenian missile attack on Ganja
Baku's secondary housing prices show monthly decline
Investments in Iran's capital market increase
Uzbek Reconstruction and Development Fund to support creation of Export Support Fund
Turkey's export of defense products to Morocco plunges
Nagorno-Karabakh region to be liberated sooner or later: press secretary of Turkish president
USD falls against Uzbek soum for the first time in three months
Work connected with laying of gas pipelines on freed Azerbaijani territories kicked off (PHOTO/VIDEO)
Volume of maritime cargo shipment via Turkey from Spain disclosed
Turkmenistan significantly increases import of wheat flour from EAEU countries
Azerbaijani railway operator admitted to consortium of Trans-Caspian Transport Route
Georgia reveals results of 18 foreign exchange auctions conducted by National Bank
Iran Khodro reveals amount of funds saved thanks to domestic manufacturing
Export of Turkish-made defense products to China slumps
Armenian Armed Forces fire at school in Aghdam (PHOTO)
Assistant to Azerbaijani president comments on photo of Armenia's defense minister together with Armenian soldiers
Macron's anti-Islamic statements point to extreme misunderstanding of religion - Arab analyst
Uzbekistan’s Kashkadarya tops list of regions implementing foreign investments
Heritage Foundation's Foreign Policy Studies Center Director comments on photo showing Russian field camp set up near Armenian Tegh
Georgia sees increase in hazelnuts export
Georgia reveals volume of exported apples
U.S. regrets EU move on tariffs, seeks deal on Boeing-Airbus row
Russia seeking to be stabilizer in South Caucasus, says Russian expert
Uzbekistan discusses strengthening multilateral co-op with China and S. Korea
President Aliyev congratulates commanders of joint military corps who distinguished themselves in liberation of Gubadli city, villages of Gubadli district from occupiers
Review of statistics of people registered within state program 'Remotely from Georgia'
Volume of trade turnover between Turkmenistan, Russia’s Perm Krai revealed
Azerbaijani army does not fire at civilians - Defense Ministry
President Ilham Aliyev interviewed by Italian Rai 1 TV channel (PHOTO)
Iran launches new water treatment facility in Tehran
Iran studies Famotidine as Coronavirus treatment
Industrial production in Karabakh to increase in post-conflict period - CAERC head
Turkish president urges to boycott French goods
Work on power supply to strategic facilities in freed Azerbaijani territories underway (PHOTO)
Bank of Georgia suffers loss
S&P Global Ratings expects Azerbaijan's export to grow in next years
Iran’s Bahar Azadi gold coin price falling
Wildfire breaks out in Azerbaijan's Dashkasan district from Armenian attacks (VIDEO)
SOCAR considering new investments in Turkey
Romania's import of Azerbaijani products for 9M2020 revealed
Armenian Armed Forces fire at Azerbaijan’s Tartar district
Price of most Georgian companies’ shares up on London Stock Exchange
UK armed forces take control of ship in English Channel, seven people detained
Mobile phones and smartphones import down in Georgia
Azerbaijan confirms 131 more COVID-19 recoveries
Iran enlarges petrochemicals production
Azerbaijan hikes export to Belarus in 9M2020
S&P says Azerbaijani manat to maintain position against USD
German government raises 2020 GDP forecast to -5.5%
Turkmenistan ready to support contracts with companies of Russia’s Perm Krai
Recruiting children by Armenia against Azerbaijan is war crime, says Lebanese lawyer
President Ilham Aliyev: Azerbaijan restoring historical justice on battlefield
Azerbaijan's Aghjabadi district again under fire of Armenian Armed Forces
It is not worth using peacekeeping efforts of third states in settlement of Karabakh conflict - Georgian expert
Weekly digest of Azerbaijan’s energy sector
Uzbekneftegaz accelerates commissioning of technological devices due to autumn-winter period
EU's Barnier heads for London for Brexit deal talks
Corn oil produced by Georgian Plant Oil Company Qarva to enter supermarkets
President Ilham Aliyev talks proving to world that Karabakh is Azerbaijan's historical land
Turkey discloses 9M2020 data on cargo movement via its ports from UK
Armenia's leadership, criminal junta regime have no moral, ethical framework - Azerbaijani top official
Iran ready to fire at Armenian Armed Forces if they approach its border with Azerbaijan
Iran`s Quchan grapes exports revealed
Turkmen private sector provides half of industrial production in Balkan region
Amount of industrial enterprises launched in Iran's Hamadan soars
Iran reveals its COVID-19 data for October 26
Uzbekneftegaz eyes to increase natural gas production
Armenia never supports peace – Azerbaijani MP in interview to TRT World TV channel (VIDEO)
Karabakh conflict's settlement process is at hot point - Kremlin spokesman
Over 230 tankers with ACG oil shipped from Ceyhan terminal
Azerbaijani Prosecutor General's Office gives updates on civil casualties, damages
Iran's Shazand Oil Refining Company opens tender to buy equipment
Secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council slams French president
Canada points out importance of creating mechanism for resolving Nagorno-Karabakh conflict
EBRD supports construction of 100 MW wind farm in south of Kazakhstan
Georgian Tegeta Motors Company makes another deals
All nations in Azerbaijan united and will achieve victory - head of Russian community
Iran boosts generation capacity of thermal power plants
Kazakhstan's fixed investments volume decreases over 9M2020
All news