Monday, June 23, 2008
"Lebanon's Hezbollah is demanding the release of Palestinians held in Israeli jails in exchange for two Israeli soldiers detained by the movement.
Israel, however, says it would release Lebanese prisoners in return for its soldiers and not Palestinian prisoners.
The new Hezbollah demand was relayed to Israel via German negotiators, who mediate between the Hezbollah and the Israeli officials.
The two Israeli soldiers were captured in July 2006 in the 33-Day War between Israel and Hezbollah, in which Israel suffered grave losses.
Recently, Lebanon has rejected calls by Israel to negotiate a peace deal, saying Israel must first vacate all the lands occupied in the 1967 6-Day War and seek a solution to the Palestinians' refugee problem.
On Sunday afternoon, Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert and his security cabinet, including heads of the war and information ministries, convened in al-Quds, to discuss Hezbollah's new demand."