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Copyright 2004 Maariv International
January 30

HEADLINE: Nassrallah threatens more abductions

Hezbollah leader presents 3 options for finalizing prisoner swap: negotiations, obtaining Arad info, or "redeeming the blood of Samir Kuntar".

BYLINE: Itamar Inbari

Hezbollah leader, Sheik Hassan Nassrallah, threatened to abduct more Israeli soldiers in order to free additional prisoners, including convicted terrorist Samir Kuntar. Israel is holding Kuntar for murdering three members of the Haran family in 1979 in Naharia.

Nassrallah presented his terms at a Hezbollah ceremony in Beirut, held in celebration of the release of prisoners in the POW swap. He said there were three options available to secure the release of the remaining prisoners.

Nassrallah then outlined the three options. First, he said that the Hezbollah will "seriously investigate" the fate of Ron Arad. Alternately, he noted that a "creative" solution through the German mediator could be formulated. Finally, Nassrallah offered to "redeem Samir Kuntar through sacrifice" while simultaneously showing footage of the Israeli soldiers' abduction.

Throughout his speech, Nassrallah emphasized that the prisoner exchange was made possible by his organization's resistance and promised the prisoners still jailed in Israel and the Arab world that the fight would continue.

"What brought about this accomplishment (prisoner exchange deal) is the fact that we kidnapped soldiers - dead or alive it doesn't matter - and bargaining is up to them", said Nassrallah.

Nassrallah again claimed that the soldiers' abduction was a response to Israeli activities. "Israelis don't learn from their past mistakes. They opened the door for kidnappings and now they are repeating the same mistake and not releasing Samir Kuntar", Nassrallah said. "The enemy is aggressive and brutal, but I respect an enemy who is concerned for its hostages and works day and night for their release", he added.

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