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The New Arab Staff & Agencies

2 Syrians held in Israel to be released in prisoner exchange

The Syrians were arrested in the occupied Golan Heights. [Getty]

Date of publication: 17 February, 2021

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Israel and Syria have agreed to a prisoner swap that was brokered by Russia.

With the help of Russian mediation, Damascus is securing the release of two Syrians held in Israel in exchange for releasing an Israeli woman that entered Syria by mistake, Syria’s official news agency reported Wednesday.

The report did not provide details on when the Syrians were taken prisoners in Israel or when the Israeli woman entered Syria.

The SANA news agency said the two Syrians are natives of the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights. Nihal al-Makt, one of the Syrians, comes from a family of a number of former prisoners in Israeli prisons. Her brother was released in an exchange of prisoners last year, also mediated by Russia, that came after Syria returned the remains of an Israeli soldier killed in a 1982 battle.

SANA said the Israeli woman entered Syria's Quneitra province by mistake and was taken into Syrian custody.

Israeli officials declined to comment. There was no immediate Russian comment.

Read more: Syria Insight: Syria's collapsing economy threatens Assad's rule

Israeli media reported late Tuesday that the Israeli government had convened for deliberations regarding a recent incident related to Syria. Israel's Haaretz newspaper reported that communication with Damascus, related to humanitarian issues, were mediated by Russia.

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