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Israelis, Palestinians Reported to Be Negotiating Prisoner-exchange

December 30, 1982
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Representatives of the Palestine Liberation Organization in Western Europe said today that unofficial talks on a prisoner of war exchange between Israel and the Palestinians have been going on for the past few weeks in several European capitals, Paris and Vienna among them. Abdullah Frangi, the PLO representative in Bonn, formally confirmed the talks but refused to name the negotiators.

Chancellor Bruno Kreisky of Austria, who met with PLO chief Yasir Arafat at Palma De Majorca earlier this week, said in an Austrian television interview that he had been contacted by families of Israeli prisoners held by the Palestinians and agreed to serve as a go-between “for humanitarian reasons.” He refused to give any details of his talk with Arafat or to confirm that the subject of a prisoner exchange was discussed.

The PLO reportedly holds eight Israeli soldiers captured in Lebanon who Israel wants freed. It insists that Israel agrees to release the thousands of Palestinians now imprisoned in south Lebanon and in Israel.

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