AFP
Last updated: 22 August, 2012

Israel frees Syrian prisoner after 27 years

The longest serving Syrian prisoner in Israel has been freed after 27 years behind bars, the Israel Prison Service said on Wednesday.

Sedki al-Maket “was released today at the end of the prison term he served for militant actions against the state of Israel,” the IPS said in a statement.

A spokesman for the IPS told AFP Maket was imprisoned for 27 years, but was unable to elaborate on the nature of the crimes for which he was convicted.

Syrian media reported that Maket, who was arrested in August 1985 for resisting the Israeli occupation of the Golan Heights, had returned to his home town on the strategic plateau.

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.