United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan is planning to meet with the families of the three kidnapped soldiers Gilad Shalit, Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev during his visit to Israel this week.
The parties that are currently negotiating for the release of the soldiers are pleased with the meeting and say that “it is important that the person who is charged with overseeing the implementation of the agreement will meet with the families of the soldiers, hear their stories, and see their red eyes.”
The sources suggest that a few demands be implemented so the Ron Arad case will not be repeated. First, there is a need to see the ceasefire agreement as a single piece, so the release of the soldiers would be an indisputable part of implementing the agreement. Second, a demand that the sea and air blockade of Lebanon would be lifted only after the release of the soldiers. Third, a demand that the UN and the donor countries withhold funds from Lebanon until the soldiers are released. And fourthly, a call for the Secretary General and the Israeli government to clarify that the ceasefire would be tied directly to the release of the soldiers.