Israel’s Maariv newspaper has named the two Syrian prisoners who will be released soon from Israeli jails as a “good will gesture” after the recovery of the body of missing Israel soldier, Zachary Baumel, earlier this month.
According to a report released by the newspaper on April 27, the two prisoners are Zidan Tuil, a resident of Khader who was jailed in Israel after being convicted of drug smuggling and Khamis Ahmed, a Fatah activist and a resident of the Yarmuk refugee camp in Syria who attempted to infiltrate an Israeli base in 2005.
Tuil was reportedly expected to be released from jail next July, while Ahmed was sentenced to prison until 2023 on terrorism charges.
Earlier, an Israeli official revealed that the decision to release the Syrian prisoners was approved by Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit. This allowed the decision to bypassed an Israeli law saying that prisoners exchange deals should be discussed and approved by the cabinet.
According to the official, the decision to release the Syrian prisoners was taken as a “good will gesture” following the recovery of Baumel’s remains, which were found by Russian and Syrian forces.
Russian President’s Special Envoy to Syria, Alexander Lavrentiev, who was the first to announce the near release of the Syrian prisoners, said that the recovery of Baumel’s remains was “an act of interest for the Syrian side.”
- Israel Will Release Two Syrian Prisoners In “Good Will Gesture” Following Return of Israeli Soldier’s Body