Two Israeli soldiers held hostage by Hezbollah are “on their way home,” an Israeli Cabinet minister said.
In the first formal acknowledgement from Jerusalem that a prisoner swap with the Lebanese militia is in the works, Infrastructure Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer said Wednesday that Israel will likely have to free jailed terrorist Samir Kuntar, as demanded by Hezbollah, to retrieve Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev.
“Goldwasser and Regev are on their way home, and if that means we have to free Kuntar, then we have to free Kuntar,” Ben-Eliezer told Israel Radio.
He did not say when the deal might be sealed or how the soldiers – who were abducted in a July 12, 2006 border ambush and whose condition is unknown – would be repatriated.
Lebanese media have described a swap as imminent and said it could take place in Germany, which has been mediating between Israel and Hezbollah.