Israel swaps mental Hizballah fighter for Jewish corpse

Tuesday, October 16, 2007 |  by Staff Writer

The Israeli government has confirmed that on Monday it swapped a mentally ill Hizballah fighter and the bodies of two Lebanese terrorists killed during last summer's Second Lebanon War for the body of an Ethiopian Jewish immigrate who drown in the Mediterranean Sea in 2005.

Israel assumed for years that Gabriel Dwait's remains were at the bottom of the sea, but last year Hizballah started hinting that it had taken possession of the 27-year-old victim's body after it washed up on the Lebanese coast.

In exchange for Dwait's body, Israel set free 50-year-old Hassan Naim Aqil, a Hizballah member who did not fight in last summer's war and has since his capture been diagnosed with an unspecified mental illness.

A Lebanese paper reported that Israel also received information regarding missing airman Ron Arad, who was shot down over Lebanon in 1986 and captured by Hizballah. It is believed Arad is now being held in Iran. The Israeli government would not elaborate on the documents it reportedly received.

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