Israel and Syria engage in prisoner exchange, Syrian state media announces

Syrian state media announced that prisoner exchange between Damascus and Israel would take place with the mediation of Russia.

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Syria’s official news agency announced on 17 February that a prisoner exchange, consisting of two Syrians held by Israel and an Israeli woman held by Syrian authorities, will take place between Syria and Israel with the mediation of Moscow. 

While the identities of some of the prisoners are known, information on when they were detained by respective authorities was not given by neither Israel nor Syria. Russian officials have also not given any immediate comments.

Reports indicate that one of the Syrian prisoners is Nihal al-Makt, who has family members which have previously spent time in Israeli prisons. While the name of the second Syrian was not written, both are indicated to be natives of the Golan Heights, which was captured by Israeli forces during the Six-Day War in 1967 and later annexed in 1981, a move which is not recognized by the UN.

As for the Israeli woman under Syrian custody, reports from the Syrian news agency say she had entered Syria by mistake.

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