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Negotiations between Israel and Syria on prisoner swap said to hit snag

Israel and Syria are negotiating intensively for the release of an Israeli woman arrested by Syrian authorities after she entered Quneitra in southern Syria. Syria has demanded the release of two prisoners, Nihal al-Maqt and Dhiab Qahmuz.

Al-Maqt tells Syrian Al-Ikhbariya TV: “I am now free in my homeland.” Al-Maqt was convicted in 2017 by an Israeli court for incitement.

According to al-Maqt, she had already been released from prison. She was to complete her sentence under house arrest with very strict conditions.

“If I step a toe outside of my house, they can arrest me and put me back in prison,” al-Maqt says.

Several soldiers came to her house and offered to remove the conditions if she were to leave Israel for Damascus, al-Maqt claims.

Al-Maqt says that she refused, asking to be released unconditionally and allowed to remain in the Golan — a request, she says, which was granted.

Al-Maqt tells the broadcaster she salutes “President Bashar al-Assad.”

Source: Aaron Boxerman – TOI

UPDATE:

Israeli officials tell Hebrew media that the prisoner exchange with Syria, coordinated by Russia, is being held up by the refusal of two Syrian prisoners in the Jewish state to be deported to Syria.

Israel is seeking the release of an Israeli woman who crossed the border and was arrested.

According to the Walla news site, officials believe the issue will be resolved and the deal will go through in the coming days.

Source: TOI