PARIS (Mar. 19)
Sheik Abbas Mussawi, the Hezbollah leader gunned down by Israeli attack helicopters in southern Lebanon on Feb. 16, met in Paris with Israel’s chief hostage negotiator about a month before his death, a well-informed French publication has reported.
According to Le Nouvel Observateur, Mussawi came to Paris in January to meet with Lubrani, the chief Israeli negotiator for the release of hostages held by guerrilla groups in Lebanon.
It was not their first encounter, the left-wing weekly said. It said the Shi’ite leader brought with him photographs of Israeli air force navigator Ron Arad, whose Phantom jet was shot down near Saida, Lebanon, in October 1986.
Arad, believed prisoner of Hezbollah or another Islamic fundamentalist group, is the only one of seven Israel Defense Force personnel missing in Lebanon who is presumed to be alive.