Israel frees Syrian prisoner after 27 years: SANA

Israel frees Syrian prisoner after 27 years: SANA

The longest serving Syrian prisoner in Israel has been freed after 27 years behind bars, Syria's official news agency SANA said on Wednesday.

It said Sedki al-Maket, who was arrested in August 1985 for resisting the Israeli occupation of the Golan Heights, was released and had returned to his home town on the strategic plateau.

He was jailed by a military court for 27 years and served his sentence in several prisons in Israel, SANA said.

Maket, 45, comes from Majdal Shams, the largest town on the Golan Heights, which Israel captured from Syria in the 1967 Six-Day War and unilaterally annexed in 1981. "(Maket) was brought up within a family known for its struggle against the occupation in the Golan," SANA said.

The vast majority of its 18,000 Syrian inhabitants, mostly Druze, who remained from the Golan's original population of 150,000, have refused to take Israeli citizenship.
Damascus demands a total Israeli withdrawal from the Golan as the price for a peace settlement.