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Irc Visits Two Israeli Soldiers Captured by Terrorists in Lebanon

May 5, 1983
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Two Israeli soldiers taken prisoner by a terrorist group in Lebanon last summer were visited by an International Red Cross representative this week, for the first time since their capture.

An IRC spokesman in Geneva confirmed that the agency’s representative in Damascus delivered food parcels and mail to Nissim Salem and Yosef Gross. They are held prisoner by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command, a radical breakaway faction of the Palestine Liberation Organization, headed by Ahmed Jibril.

The IRC said it was not the agency’s policy to report publicly the state of prisoners or the conditions under which they are held. But it confirmed that the two men were visited by a doctor in addition to the IRC representative and were given news of their families.

“The prisoners sent news of themselves to their families via the delegates and the delegates gave each prisoner one parcel from their family,” the IRC spokesman said.

The first proof that Salem and Gross were alive was contained in video-taped interviews released by the Jibril group to the Austrian government and televised here this week. The IRC spokesman told Israel Radio today that the prisoners would be visited again but no date has been set. He said the IRC would report officially to the Israeli authorities and the prisoners’ families would receive letters from the men through the IRC in Damascus.

Six other Israeli soldiers held prisoner by El Fatah, the main branch of the PLO, have been visited periodically by the IRC but the last visit took place March 15. The IRC spokesman said it was hoped that another visit would be allowed shortly.

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