Hezbollah Returns Body Parts

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CBNNews.com - ROSH HANIKRA, Israel - On Sunday, Hezbollah transferred the remains of several Israel Defense Forces (IDF) soldiers killed in the Second Lebanon War in the summer of 2006.

After IDF sappers examined the box, it was transferred by ambulance to the Abu Kabir Forensic Institute, where pathologists will try to identify the remains by DNA testing.

According to the IDF, the bodies of nine soldiers killed in the war were not buried intact.

Major General Elazar Stern, head of the IDF's Human Resources Directorate, appointed a team to keep family members updated on pathologists' report.

Meanwhile, Israel rejected Hezbollah spiritual leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah's claim that the remains were exchanged for released prisoner Nissim Nasser, who recently completed a six-year term for spying for Hezbollah.

"The step is not a goodwill gesture, but Hezbollah's spin for public opinion in Lebanon," one Israeli security official said.

"This is not part of a prisoner exchange deal. It wasn't coordinated with Israel and from the beginning our position has been that we will not conduct any negotiations for body parts and we will not agree to trade in body parts or to pay for them," he said.

"At the beginning of the year, Nasrallah said he has body parts. Israel reacted angrily because he was trading in human parts. Now that we tossed them Nasser, Nasrallah is trying to create the appearance of an achievement in the Lebanese street to show that in exchange for body parts, they get a live person," another senior military official said.

The International Red Cross, under the supervision of UNIFIL (United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon) forces, returned Nasser directly to Hezbollah representatives, who provided a hero's welcome, complete with a military parade and yellow Hezbollah balloons.

"I want to congratulate Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah, the prisoners' families, the prisoners themselves and all the citizens," Nasser told Hezbollah's al-Manar television, which announced to its viewers that Israel would soon release the rest of the Lebanese prisoners serving time in its jails.

Nasser, a former Israeli Jew, converted to Islam, renounced his Israeli citizenship and moved to Lebanon. In 2002, he was convicted of spying for the Lebanese-based terror group and sentenced to a six-year term.

Sources: Haaretz, YNet news

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