Libya: Palestinian Prisoners Freed in Deal for Israeli Photographer

In exchange for Rafael Haddad's release, Israel allowed Libyan-sponsored cargo aid ship into Gaza and for Libya to construct 20 buildings for Gaza residents.

The son of Libya's leader says part of a deal to free a jailed Israeli photographer involved the release of Palestinian prisoners held by Israel.

Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, left, and Rafael Haddad at a press conference at Ben-Gurion Inte
Nir Kafri

Seif al-Islam Gadhafi told reporters Thursday that the Israeli-Tunisian dual national was not a spy. He also corroborated the man's story that he was in the country to photograph heritage sites connected with Libya's vanished Jewish community.

Gadhafi would not say how many Palestinians were released as part of the deal for Rafael Haddad, who was freed Sunday after five months in jail.

Lieberman thanked Libya, saying that it "behaved responsibly" on the matter and called Libya's demands in exchange for Haddad's release "reasonable" and "logical."

In exchange for Haddad's release, Israel allowed the cargo of a Libyan-sponsored aid ship to enter the Gaza Strip in July and for Libya to construct 20 buildings for Gaza residents.

Lieberman said that the secret negotiations for Haddad's release were "not simple."

Haddad, who holds dual Israeli and Tunisian passports, arrived in Vienna late Sunday after spending five months in a Libyan prison. He was arrested by local Libyan police in March while photographing a building that once belonged to the Jewish community in Libya.