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Copyright 2002 Ha'aretz

October 2, 2002

HEADLINE: Congress to hold discussion over fate of kidnapped Israelis in Lebanon

BYLINE: Daniel Sobelman

Congress is slated to hold a discussion Wednesday over the fate of the four Israelis kidnapped and believed held in Lebanon.

The four, Benny Avraham, Omar Suweid, Adi Avitan and Elhanan Tanneboim were kidnapped by the Hezbollah organization in October 2000. Following information obtained last November, Israel declared that the three IDF soldiers, Avraham, Suweid and Avitan are no longer alive.

The families of the four will be present at the discussion. Relatives of missing IDF navigator Ron Arad, ahot down over Lebanon and captured in the 1980s, will not attend the meeting, however.

The meeting, which will be held by Congress's Human Rights Committee, is the first of its kind. The four families will present their cases and request assistance from the committee in obtaining information from Syria and Lebanon over the fate of their loved ones. They will also ask the committe to promote the prisoner exchange talks between Israel and Hezbollah.

The hearing, which will last no longer than two hours, will be divided into two sessions. In the first session, each family will privately present its case to the Congress members.

The second session will include representatives of the United Nations and the International Red Cross, who, despite efforts over the past two years, have not managed to reach the four.

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