Olmert: Hezbollah report on fate of Ron Arad is 'absolutely unsatisfactory'
Not clear whether prime minister's remarks will sway cabinet's decision on authorizing prisoner swap scheduled for Wed.
Prime Minister Ehud Olmert told United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Monday that a report by Hezbollah on the Lebanese milita's efforts to determine the fate of missing Israeli airman Ron Arad was "absolutely unsatisfactory.
Olmert added that Israel was still determined to shed light on the mystery of the missing Israel Air Force navigator who has not been seen his plane was shot down over Lebanon in 1986.
"The prime minister made clear to the secretary-general that he considers the report to be absolutely unsatisfactory," Olmert's aide told reporters in Paris at the close of the Union Mediterranean summit.
Asked whether Israel was happy enough with the report to push forward with the prisoner swap, the aide said "I don't know. We are working on clarifications."
It was not immediately clear whether Olmert's assessment would influence the cabinet's decision on Tuesday on whether to go ahead with a planned prisoner swap with Hezbollah, scheduled for Wednesday.
The cabinet will discuss the report on Tuesday and will be briefed by the intelligence bodies that convened on Sunday and Monday on the matter. A source in the prime minister's entourage said that the decision on whether or not to authorize the deal will rely on this briefing.
Hezbollah's 80-page-report on its efforts to determine Arad's fate, transferred to Israel on Sunday, is at the center of a prisoner swap which would see the return of two Israel Defense Forces reservists whose abduction by Hezbollah sparked the Second Lebanon War in 2006. The two soldiers, Ehud Regev and Eldad Goldwasser, are presumed to be dead.
The prisoner exchange deal also included the release of five Lebanese fighters currently held in Israel, including notorious Lebanese terrorist Samir Kuntar who is serving multiple life sentences for the murder of four Israelis in a 1979 terror attack.
Over the weekend, Hezbollah transferred to Israel previously unseen photographs of Arad alongside diary excerpts and the 80-page report.
Defense Minister Ehud Barak also addressed the report during a Labor faction meeting on Monday, saying that it didn't "supply any answers," and that Israel was solely responsible for finding out Arad's fate.