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Palestinian Refugee Ahmad Khamis Held in Syrian Gov’t Jails

Published : 03-07-2020

Palestinian Refugee Ahmad Khamis Held in Syrian Gov’t Jails

Palestinian ex-prisoner Ahmad Khamis, who was released from Israeli jails as part of an Israel-Russian swap deal and re-arrested by Syrian security forces, has been enduring an unknown fate in Syrian prisons. 

Informed sources told AGPS that Khamis was arrested in June 2019 and has been subjected to exhaustive interrogation by Syrian intelligence officers at Palestine Branch 235. 

Khamis, a resident of Yarmouk Camp, in Damascus, was released from Israeli jails in early 2019 and was taken back to Syria, in what media sources described as Russian-mediated reciprocation for the repatriation of the body of the long-missing Israeli soldier Zachary Baumel.

Khamis was kidnapped in April 2005, allegedly after he attempted to creep into an Israeli military base and carry out an anti-occupation operation in the occupied Golan Heights. He was sentenced to 18 years in jail and spent 14 years of the term.

An Israeli official speaking on condition of anonymity said at the time that Israel agreed to release the prisoner as a "goodwill gesture" after the return of the remains of Zachary Baumel earlier this month.

Israel's military announced on 3 April that Baumel's remains, missing since the 1982 Lebanon war, had been returned, bringing to a close a highly sensitive case for Israelis.

The announcement came less than a week before hotly contested Israeli elections, which saw Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu win a fifth term in office.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said during a visit by Netanyahu that the remains had been found by the Russian and Syrian armies, in a context where Moscow has a military presence in Syria to support President Bashar AlAssad. 

But Syrian Information Minister Imad Sara said on 4 April that Damascus had no knowledge of plans to repatriate the remains, nor was it aware of the details behind the discovery of the body and its subsequent transfer.

Short URL : https://www.actionpal.org.uk/en/post/10322

Palestinian ex-prisoner Ahmad Khamis, who was released from Israeli jails as part of an Israel-Russian swap deal and re-arrested by Syrian security forces, has been enduring an unknown fate in Syrian prisons. 

Informed sources told AGPS that Khamis was arrested in June 2019 and has been subjected to exhaustive interrogation by Syrian intelligence officers at Palestine Branch 235. 

Khamis, a resident of Yarmouk Camp, in Damascus, was released from Israeli jails in early 2019 and was taken back to Syria, in what media sources described as Russian-mediated reciprocation for the repatriation of the body of the long-missing Israeli soldier Zachary Baumel.

Khamis was kidnapped in April 2005, allegedly after he attempted to creep into an Israeli military base and carry out an anti-occupation operation in the occupied Golan Heights. He was sentenced to 18 years in jail and spent 14 years of the term.

An Israeli official speaking on condition of anonymity said at the time that Israel agreed to release the prisoner as a "goodwill gesture" after the return of the remains of Zachary Baumel earlier this month.

Israel's military announced on 3 April that Baumel's remains, missing since the 1982 Lebanon war, had been returned, bringing to a close a highly sensitive case for Israelis.

The announcement came less than a week before hotly contested Israeli elections, which saw Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu win a fifth term in office.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said during a visit by Netanyahu that the remains had been found by the Russian and Syrian armies, in a context where Moscow has a military presence in Syria to support President Bashar AlAssad. 

But Syrian Information Minister Imad Sara said on 4 April that Damascus had no knowledge of plans to repatriate the remains, nor was it aware of the details behind the discovery of the body and its subsequent transfer.

Short URL : https://www.actionpal.org.uk/en/post/10322