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Lebanon/Israel: Mortal remains repatriated and prisoners released

26-06-1998 News Release 98/25

Geneva (ICRC) - On 25 June, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) participated in the repatriation of the mortal remains of an Israeli serviceman and those of 40  Lebanese combatants. The ICRC had been in contact with the Israeli and the Lebanese authorities since September 1997, acting in its capacity as a neutral intermediary and as a channel for messages between the parties.

The mortal remains were transported aboard an aircraft supplied by the French authorities. The ICRC handed them over to representatives of their respective countries of origin.

On 26 June, 10 detainees from prisons in Israel and 50 detainees from the Khiam detention centre in occupied South Lebanon were freed by the Israeli authorities and handed over to the ICRC. They were all interviewed in private by ICRC delegates and given the opportunity to state the destination of their choice. 55 detainees were then transferred by the ICRC to Kfar Falous, just north of the occupied zone, where they were given into the care of the Lebanese authorities.