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    Breaking: Russia mediating release of two Syrians held by Israel
    NBS | Thursday, February 18th, 2021 | Published: 1:43 pm

    Breaking: Russia mediating release of two Syrians held by Israel

    Syria is securing the release of two citizens held by Israel in a prisoner exchange mediated by Russia.

    The Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) reported on Wednesday that Russia was mediating a deal for the release of nationals Nihal al-Makt and Diyab Qahmouz, both from the occupied Golan Heights, in exchange for an Israeli woman who was detained in Syria after she entered Quneitra province illegally.

    The report did not give details on when the Syrians were arrested or when the Israeli woman entered Syria.

    Nihal comes from a group of a number of former prisoners in Zionist regime jails.

    The individual had been under house arrest, serving a three-year suspended jail sentence and reporting daily for a year to Israeli authorities.

    “I am free in my country with no conditions attached and no (Israeli) authority over me,” al-Makt told Syrian Al-Ikhbariya TV, speaking through Skype after the exchange on Wednesday.

    Qahmouz was reportedly arrested in 2016 and sentenced to 14 years in jail.

    Media reports said Qahmouz refused to be released under condition of his exile, demanding instead that he be returned to his native village of Ghajar.

    According to Al-Ikhbariya TV on Wednesday, he remained in Israeli custody.

    Last year, al-Makt’s brother, the longest-held prisoner in Israeli regime jails, was released in a Russian-mediated prisoner swap that came after Syria returned the remains of a Zionist soldier killed in a 1982.



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