JERUSALEM (AFP) — A prisoner exchange between Israel and Hezbollah will take at least two weeks to carry out, according to Israeli defence officials cited by the country's public radio station on Monday.
The Israeli cabinet gave the green light on Sunday to the deal under which the remains of two soldiers are to be handed over in exchange for five Lebanese "fighters" and an undetermined number of Palestinians held in Israeli prisons.
The two week delay is necessary for genetic tests to ensure the remains are of those of the two soldiers, Eldad Regev and Ehud Goldwasser, the defence officials told Israeli public radio.
Regev and Goldwasser were captured by Hezbollah guerrillas in a deadly cross-border raid on July 12, 2006 that sparked a 34-day war in Lebanon.
During the next two weeks Israel also expects to receive information from Hezbollah on what it knows about the fate of Israeli airman Ron Arad, who was captured Shiite militiamen in 1982 but has been missing since 1986.
In January 2006, Nasrallah said the airman was probably dead although he had no proof.
In exchange Israel is to hand over information it has on four Iranian diplomats who went missing in Lebanon in 1982, the officials said.
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