Occupied Jerusalem: Israel's Cabinet on Tuesday gave final approval to trade a Lebanese militant convicted in an infamous 1979 attack for two Israeli soldiers captured by Lebanon's Hezbollah guerrilla group and believed to be dead.

The approval gives way for the deal to take place as planned on Wednesday.

Government officials said the cabinet voted 22-3 to ratify the exchange.

The exchange is expected to be approved despite Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's pronouncement on Monday that Hezbollah has submitted an "absolutely unsatisfactory" report on what happened to an Israeli airman who disappeared in Lebanon 22 years ago. Israel had demanded the report as part of the exchange deal, but government officials have said it would not be a deal-breaker.

Ahead of the meeting, Construction Minister Zeev Boim said he would vote against the deal because he opposed trading live prisoners for dead soldiers. But he estimated that a majority of the Cabinet would back it.

A UN-appointed German official mediated the agreement, which the Cabinet originally approved June 29. Final authorisation was put off until Israel received the document on missing airman Ron Arad.

Over the weekend, Hezbollah transferred photographs, diary excerpts and an 80-page report that claimed Arad died, but did not give a full account of his fate.

The prisoner swap is expected to take place on Wednesday at a seafront border crossing, under the auspices of the Red Cross. In addition to handing over convicted killer Samir Kantar, Israel has also agreed to release four other Lebanese prisoners and the bodies of 199 Lebanese and Palestinian fighters killed in clashes over the years.

In exchange, Hezbollah is to return the two Israeli soldiers, whose capture set off a monthlong war between Israel and Hezbollah in the summer of 2006.

The Lebanese prisoners will not be handed over until the soldiers are positively identified, either at the crossing or in Jerusalem, if DNA testing is deemed necessary.

Red Cross officials are to meet with Kantar and the other Lebanese prisoners on Tuesday.