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Israel Frees 2 Prisoners After Return of Soldier Missing Since 1982

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Two prisoners were released from Israeli detention on Friday, months after Syria returned the remains of an Israeli soldier killed during a 1982 conflict between the countries.

According to Israeli media reports, the two freed prisoners were Syrian citizens from a Druze village in the Israel-controlled Golan Heights, a prisons official said on Friday.

They were released before the end of their sentence.

The release was “a goodwill gesture” after Syria’s April return of the remains of Zachary Baumel, according to the office of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Baumel went missing on June 11, 1982, during the first Lebanon war.

According to the Israeli prisons authority, one of the men had been sentenced to seven years and eight months for the death of a Syrian man.

He was set for release in 2023.

The second man had been incarcerated for 11 years on charges of treason and espionage as well as aiding terrorism and was set for release in 2026.

Israel had already released two Syrians from prison in April after the return of Baumel’s remains.

Russia assisted with the recovery of Baumel’s remains.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said they were discovered during Russian operations in Syria amid that country’s civil war.

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