Israeli families urge France to help free soldier prisoners

26th January 2007, Comments 0 comments

JERUSALEM, Jan 25, 2007 (AFP) - The families of two Israeli soldiers captured by Lebanon's Shiite Hezbollah guerrillas last year appealed to French President Jacques Chirac on Thursday to help secure their release.

JERUSALEM, Jan 25, 2007 (AFP) - The families of two Israeli soldiers captured by Lebanon's Shiite Hezbollah guerrillas last year appealed to French President Jacques Chirac on Thursday to help secure their release.

Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev were seized July 12, 2006 after a cross-border raid by the militants, sparking a 34-day Israeli onslaught that ended on August 14 with a UN-brokered ceasefire.

"We, the families of prisoners held by Hezbollah under inhumane conditions and in violation of every international convention, declare our approval for the aid being given by donor countries for reconstruction in Lebanon," said a letter to Chirac from the families, a copy of which was given to AFP.

"In the name of UN Security Council Resolution 1701, of which Lebanon and Israel are the main contracting parties, we solemnly appeal to the Lebanese government for the immediate and unconditional release of our sons, Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev," the letter said.

"This is an urgent appeal we are making to the donor states, most of which played a major role in the adoption of Resolution 1701, and whose urgent duty is to ensure its complete implementation," it added.

International donors on Thursday pledged more than 7.6 billion dollars to Lebanon at the Paris conference in a strong show of support for Prime Minister Fuad Siniora whose Western-backed government is locked in a political standoff with the Hezbollah-led opposition.

Saudi Arabia put forward 1.1 billion dollars (846 million euros), the United States gave 890 million dollars and France offered a loan of 650 million dollars during the conference attended by more than 40 countries.

Copyright AFP

Subject French news

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