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Israel to Release Two Syrian Prisoners in ‘Good Will Gesture’ Following Return of Israeli Soldier’s Body

This is a new twist to a story which surfaced earlier this month in a deal between Syria and Israel, seemingly brokered by Russia.

According to reports, Israel will release two Syrians currently being held in Israeli prisons. They are  Zidan Tweil, arrested in 2008 for drug smuggling, and a supposed ‘Fatah operative,’ and  Hamis Ahmad, arrested in 2005 for “attempting to infiltrate an Israeli military base and harm soldiers.”

This follows on the heals of a pre-election agreement to repatriate the long lost remains of the deceased IDF soldier – a move which was said to have helped Netanyahu in his embattled election bid earlier this month. At the time, some skeptics were accusing Putin of handing Netanyahu ‘an election gift‘ – perhaps without knowing the full story which would later unfold.

As it turns out, the reciprocal move by Israel was part of a quid pro quo agreement, seemingly brokered by Russia. This was confirmed by Russia’s envoy to Syria, Alexander Lavrentyev, who said Friday that Israel had agreed to release the two Syrian citizens in exchange for of Baumel’s remains.

Israel Will Release Two Syrian Prisoners In “Good Will Gesture” Following Return of Israeli Soldier's Body
IMAGE: Zachary Baumel

South Front reports…

Israel will release two Syrian prisoners as a “good will gesture” after the recovery of the body of missing Israel soldier, Zachary Baumel, an Israeli official announced on April 27, according to the Times of Israel.

The official said that the decision to release the Syrian prisoners was taken few days ago without the cabinet approval. However, the decision bypassed the Israeli laws with the consent of Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit.

Israel recovered the remains of Zachary Baumel, a U.S.-born Israeli soldier missing since a 1982 tank battle against the Syrian Arab Army (SAA), earlier this month. Russian and Syrian forces played a key role in the recovery of the remains, according to President Vladimir Putin.

The Israeli official’s announcement confirmed a recent statement by Russian President’s Special Envoy to Syria, Alexander Lavrentiev, in which he said that Israel will soon release Syrian prisoners.

“This was an act of interest for the Syrian side. We will not do anything that is contrary to Syria’s interests, but only things that serve them,” Lavrentiev said explaining the importance of the prisoners release during an interview with RT on April 26.

The identities of the two Syrian prisoners who will be released from Israeli jails is yet to be revealed. However, Israeli media claim that they are Syrian Druze from the occupied al-Golan Heights, who were jailed because of their cooperation with the Damascus government.

READ MORE SYRIA NEWS AT: 21st Century Wire Syria Files

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