Lieberman and Hadad
Lieberman and Hadad Foreign Ministry

Israel obtained citizen Rafael Hadad's release from a Libyan prison by promising to release Arab terrorists from jail in Israel, according to Saeef al-Islam, the son of Libyan ruler Moammer Khaddafi.

Islam admitted that Libya, which held Hadad on charges of espionage, was aware that he was not a spy. “The Israelis do not send an Israeli spy, and even less one with a Jewish first name on his passport,” he said.

In explanation of why Hadad would be held in prison if he were clearly not a spy, Islam said, “I made use of this issue in favor of our Palestinian brothers in Gaza.” His actions may seem “opportunistic,” Islam said, but added, “my aim is to do good.”

"It is better to free prisoners from among our Palestinian sisters and brothers than to keep an Israeli in jail,” he said.

Hadad, who holds Tunisian and Israeli citizenship, was arrested in March while working on behalf of an organization dedicated to Libyan Jewish heritage.

In addition to the reported prisoner release, Israel apparently agreed, as part of the Hadad release deal, to allow Libya to fund a construction project in Gaza. Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman did not give details of the deal, but told reporters that Libya's demands were “very reasonable.”

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