5278972_ME1 HUMINT - Nasrallah negotiating for soldier

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ME1 HUMINT - Nasrallah negotiating for soldier
Date 2006-11-04 01:11:39
From bhalla@stratfor.com
To analysts@stratfor.com
Others MessageId: <013d01c6ffa5$ccf31fd0$9401a8c0@stratfor.com>
InReplyTo: 00b501c6d8c3$da226f70$6501a8c0@stratfor.com
What would he get in return?

Immediately after Hizbullah captured the two Israeli troops on 12 July,
Hasan Nasrallah held a press conference and made it clear that his
objective was to swap the Israeli troops with Lebanese prisoners, namely
Samir al-Qantar. So it is natural that Nasrallah announces the beginning
of indirect talks with the Israelis over the prisoners' issue. Am sure you
are aware that the Israeli government wants to see the release of its two
soldiers. Therefore, negotiations are the natural conduit for it.

I do not think the timing of the announcement made by Nasrallah last night
has anything to do with the Lebanese domestic situation, because deciding
on starting negotiations requires more than Hizbullah's willingness to
proceed with them. I believe that Nasrallah will demand the release of
Palestinian prisoners as well. This is what I learned today from a
credible source, with whom I was discussing Nasrallah's warning to the
Seniora government. Nasrallah wants to make gains in the larger Arab World
in order to dispel the mounting impression that he is merely an Iranian

The negotiations will drag on for a considerable period of time and I am
certain that the Israeli soldier held in Gaza will be released first.


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