Shorts: mideast

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Dead end in Ron Arad quest

jerusalem (jta) | A bone fragment received from Hezbollah as possible evidence of Ron Arad’s death did not come from the missing Israel Air Force aviator.

Ha’aretz reported Monday, Feb. 2, that the fragment was passed to Israel via German envoys mediating last week’s prisoner exchange deal with the Lebanese terrorist group.

Freed prisoner wants to fight

jerusalem (jta) | The German Hezbollah member freed in the recent prisoner exchange wants to continue fighting Israel.

According to news reports, Steven Smyrek, 32, who was jailed in Israel in 1999 for planning a suicide bombing, intends to visit the Lebanese Embassy in Berlin this week to ask for long-term residence in Lebanon.

Together with another freed prisoner, Smyrek had tried to be transferred directly to Lebanon after he was freed rather than going to Germany.

Tennis star turns down peace offer

jerusalem (jta) | An Israeli tennis player rejected a letter urging her to meet with members of a pro-Palestinian group.

While in New Zealand for a tournament in January, Anna Smashnova-Pistolesi was given a letter from the Palestine Human Rights Campaign by a member of the Auckland tennis association.

The group asked Smashnova to discuss the possibility of promoting peace through tennis. But a local supporter of Israel said that the group has a record of campaigning against Israel.