The Israeli military announced on April 28 that it handed over two Syrian prisoners to the Damascus government as a part of the deal that was recently revealed. The transfer of the two prisoners was reportedly overseen by the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) and the Red Crescent.
“Moments ago, two Syrian prisoners were transferred from Israel back to Syria through the Golan Heights Quneitra Crossing,” the Israeli military said in a short press release.
Few minutes after the Israeli statement, the Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) confirmed that the two prisoners, Khamis Ahmed and Zidan Tuil, had entered Syrian territory.
Khamis, a Fatah activist, was reportedly involved in an attempt to abduct an Israeli soldier in 2005, while Ahmed was convicted for drug smuggling. Ahmed was apparently freed due to his deteriorating health condition.
According to an Israeli official, the release of these two Syrian prisoners is a part of a “good will gesture” following the recovery of the body of missing Israel soldier, Zachary Baumel, earlier this month. The remains were reportedly found by Russian and Syrian forces.
The upcoming months may witness similar deals between Damascus and Tel Aviv, with Moscow as a mediator. The remains of at least three more Israelis are still missing in Syria. Many Syrian citizens are also still being held in Israeli prisons.