December 31, 1986
HEADLINE: WAITE TRYING TO GET ISRAELI CAPTIVES RELEASED, NEWSPAPER SAYS
DATELINE: TEL AVIV, Dec 31
Anglican church envoy Terry Waite has disclosed he has been trying to free Israeli prisoners in addition to American and British hostages held in Lebanon, an Israeli newspaper reported today.
"I have been working for the release of an Israeli captive for more than a year," Waite was quoted as telling the London correspondent of the Yedioth Ahronoth daily.
"The prisoner in question is not the only Israeli on whose behalf I have been working," he said.
Waite did not identify the Israelis or say where or by whom they are being held.
Six Israeli soldiers are officially listed as missing in Lebanon. Three disappeared during the June 1982 Israeli invasion and the others were captured this year.
Waite, a special envoy of Britain's Archbishop of Canterbury, has helped to free hostages in Iran, Libya and Lebanon.
According to the newspaper, he said he hoped to return to Beirut soon to continue his efforts.
Waite recently said he would be looking in particular at the cases of the two British and five American captives still in kidnappers' hands.
Earlier this month, the father of Yehuda Katz, a soldier missing since a 1982 Israeli-Syrian tank battle in eastern Lebanon, said Israel would be prepared to swap prisoners for his son.
Joseph Katz said he believes that his son is being held by Ahmed Jibril's Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, a Syrian-backed guerrilla group.