(Communicated by the Prime Minister’s Media Adviser)

The Government today (Sunday), 29 June 2008, approved the outline for the agreement on releasing the abducted soldiers in Lebanon:

1. The abducted soldiers Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev will be returned to Israel, a report on the disappearance of Ron Arad (in continuation of Government decision #978 from 9 November 2003) will be delivered to Israel and remains from the Second Lebanon War will also be received.

In exchange for the return of the abducted soldiers, the State of Israel will release prisoners and detainees being held in its prison facilities, and will transfer bodies and information, as follows:

A. Prisoner Samir Kuntar and four illegal Lebanese fighters being held by Israel will be released to Lebanon.

B. The bodies of dozens of infiltrators and terrorists, including eight members of Hizbullah, will be delivered to Lebanon.

C. Information on the four missing Iranian diplomats will be delivered to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

D. Following the implementation of the deal, Palestinian prisoners will be released.  The number and identities of the prisoners will be determined at the sole discretion of the State of Israel.

2. Mr. Ofer Dekel, the official responsible for the negotiations on behalf of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, will continue the process of implementing the negotiations according to the principles detailed in this decision.

3. The Government will hold an additional discussion in order to complete and implement the agreement according to the principles detailed in this decision.

4. The Government of Israel reiterates and confirms its obligation to exhaust all that is required in order to obtain credible and solid information that will shed light on the fate of Israel Air Force navigator Capt. Ron Arad.

5. At the same time, the Government of Israel reiterates and confirms its commitment to continue acting for the release of Cpl. Gilad Shalit.

6. The Government of Israel will not slacken in its efforts to locate and bring home the missing and those Israeli soldiers whose resting place is unknown.

* * *

Further to its decision of 29 June 2008 approving the outline of the agreement for the release of the Israeli soldiers held hostage by Hizbullah since July 2006, the government decided on August 3, 2008 to recommend the release of five Palestinian juvenile prisoners being held in IDF and Israel Prison Authority facilities, who meet the criteria approved in the government decisions of 6 July 2003 and 27 July 2003.

The names of the prisoners to be released have been published on the Israel Prison Authority website (Hebrew). The release will commence on Wednesday August 6, 2008.