Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's office on Monday confirmed that Israel has signed an UN-mediated prisoner exchange deal with Lebanon's Shiite militant group Hezbollah.
Karnit Goldwasser, wife of captured Israeli soldier Ehud Goldwasser, speaks during a demonstration outside Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's office in Jerusalem. (Xinhua/AFP Photo)
The prime minister's office said in a statement that Ofer Dekel, Israel's chief negotiator for securing the release of abducted soldiers, signed the deal with Hezbollah on Sunday after meeting in Europe with a German mediator charged by the UN with brokering the exchange, local daily Ha'aretz reported on its website.
The office further stated that the signing of the deal was meant to trigger the execution of the swap.
"The continuation of the deal's implementation is conditioned on the existence of another few components," the office said, without explicitly stating what those components were.
The statement, however, said that Israel has still not received a final report on the fate of missing Israel Air Force navigator Ron Arad that Hezbollah has pledged to give within the framework of the swap negotiations.