TEL AVIV (May. 18)
Initial results from an examination by the International Red Cross of two bodies held by the Lebanese Shi’ite Amal militia and said by Amal to be the remains of missing Israeli soldiers have been deemed by the Israeli army as inconclusive.
The results of the examination, which were forwarded to Israel by the Red Cross, cannot be accepted as proof, the army said.
The bodies, if positively identified as those of missing Israelis, would be returned in exchange for Israel’s release of Shi’ite prisoners. A full pathological report is expected here next week.
Army sources noted that in the past, Arab countries or organizations had returned bodies to Israel as part of prisoner exchanges but that the bodies, upon examination in Israel, proved not to be the remains of Israelis.
Amal agreed to the Red Cross examinations last week after the Israeli-allied South Lebanon Army released five Shi’ite women prisoners held in the El-Khiam prison in the southern Lebanon security zone.
Reto Meister, head of the Red Cross delegation to Israel and the territories, was quoted Tuesday by the Jerusalem Post as saying that the Red Cross pathologists were not in a position to say whether or not the remains were those of missing Israeli soldiers and that it was not their role.