DAMASCUS // The longest serving Syrian prisoner in Israel has been freed after 27 years in jail, Syria's official news agency Sana said today.
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 hometown on the strategic plateau, the news agency reported.
He was jailed by a military court for 27 years and served his sentence in several prisons in Israel. Mr 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.