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Israel willing to negotiate with Hezbollah for release of two captured soldiers: report

[JURIST] Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert [official website] has told the parents of two Israeli soldiers captured by Hezbollah in a July 12 raid that Israel is willing to negotiate with Hezbollah for their release, Haaretz newspaper reported Sunday. Olmert said before that he would not negotiate to free the soldiers, but Israel has previously traded prisoners for its own personnel and Olmert reportedly told his cabinet on Sunday that "Israel has done, is doing and will do all it is able to do in order to effect the return home of the sons."

The UN resolution [text] for a Mideast ceasefire adopted by the UN Security Council [JURIST report] Friday and since accepted by Israel, Hezbollah and Lebanon includes a non-binding section calling for the unconditional release of the soldiers. While Israel did not condition a ceasefire on their release, Olmert has told Israel Radio that "a tremendous struggle is being waged to free them." Reuters has more.

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