Two Syrians prisoners are being released by Israel as the last installment of a deal with Russia which saw Syria’s return to Israel of the body of the IDF soldier Zachary Baumel last year. Sidqi Al-Maqt, 53, and Amal Abu Salah, 26, residents of the Druze Golan village of Majdal Shams, were serving long sentences for various grave charges, including espionage, terrorism, murder, supporting a terrorist organization and other security offenses. It was Al Maqt second jail sentence. He was released in 2012 after serving 27 years for terrorism.
PM Binyamin Netanyahu approved the release of the two Syrians ahead of the visit to Israel later this month of President Vladimir Putin, who personally arranged the prisoner swap with the Assad regime.