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Israel to Release Two Prisoners after Getting Remains of its Soldier in Syria

A Syrian government source told Reuters that two or more Syrians would be freed from Israeli prisons after Russian mediation

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israel, syria
FILE - Palestinian prisoners are seen on an Israeli prison bus, soon to be exchanged for a captured Israeli, in October 2011. On April 27, 2019, Israel said it would release two prisoners after Russian special forces in Syria recovered remains of a missing Israeli soldier. VOA

Israel will release two prisoners in the wake of the recovery by Russian special forces in Syria of the remains of an Israeli soldier missing since 1982, Israeli and Syrian officials said Saturday.

Russia, a key Damascus ally, this month handed over the remains and personal effects of Zachary Baumel, who was 21 when he was declared missing in action along with two other soldiers in the Battle of Sultan Yacoub during Israel’s invasion of Lebanon.

A Syrian government source told Reuters that two or more Syrians would be freed from Israeli prisons after Russian mediation. The source said authorities had pressured Moscow to secure the prisoners’ release after it was reported that the Israeli soldier’s remains were being handed over.

syria, israel
FILE – U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) fighters sit atop a hill in the desert outside the village of Baghuz, Syria, Feb. 14, 2019. VOA

Both sides appeared to step away from any suggestion that the release was part of a negotiated swap between Israel and Syria. “Israel decided in the past few days to release two prisoners as a goodwill gesture, only after the return of Zachary Baumel’s remains,” the Israeli official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Saturday.

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There was no immediate comment from Russian authorities. Israel’s Prison Service identified the two prisoners as Ahmed Khamis and Zidan Taweel. It said Khamis, from Yarmouk, a Palestinian refugee camp in Syria, was a member of the Palestinian Fatah group and was jailed in 2005 after he tried to infiltrate an Israeli military base in order to carry out an attack against soldiers.

Taweel, from the Syrian Druze village of Hader, was jailed in 2008 for drug smuggling, the Prisons Service said. A spokesman for the service said it was not clear when they would be released. (VOA)

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Find out The Must-Try Dishes In Israel

The country is home to a wide variety of cafés, which offer range of cuisines from Arabic, European to Asian

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Israel, Food, Cuisine, Travel, Must try
The country is home to a wide variety of cafés, which offer range of cuisines from Arabic, European to Asian. Wikimedia Commons

If your travel itinerary is based on your taste buds, then Israel is your dream destination. The country is home to a wide variety of cafés, which offer range of cuisines from Arabic, European to Asian.

This food is blessed by the Mediterranean sun and topped off with garnishes of crisp fruits, nuts and vegetables. The fresh dairy products and meats are a great reason to feast upon.

Israel, Food, Cuisine, Travel, Must try
Falafel is a vey famous Israeli dish. Wikimedia Commons

IANS Life picks out some must-try dishes in Israel :-

Challah – A Jewish ceremonial bread, braided and brushed with egg white and baked to perfection

Sabich – Pita pockets stuffed to the brim with crispy fried eggplant, hardboiled egg, creamy hummus and tahini, along with salad and pickles. The sandwich is an absolute favourite among locals and a top pick street food, when you’re in Tel Aviv.

Jerusalem Bagel – Unlike typical bagels, this one is elongated, soft, slightly sweet and similar to regular bread. Vendors sell freshly baked Jerusalem Bagels all over the streets of the Old City, usually accompanied with some za’atar

Bourekas – Similar to the Indian samosa, potato, cheese or spinach stuffed triangles of filo-dough, topped with toasted sesame seeds. Head to Leon and Sons in Jaffa for a taste of this flaky treat.

Israel, Food, Cuisine, Travel, Must try
Early-Morning Scene in Mahane Yehuda Market – Jerusalem – Israel. Wikimedia Commons

Khachapuri – This traditional Georgian dish in Mahane Yehuda Market is made with eggs and cheese is combined in an eye shaped dough. Dip the outer crust in the rich and oozing centre of egg and cheese.

Rugelach – Made with chocolate, cinnamon, raisins, walnuts or fruits. Head to Marzipan Bakery in Jerusalem to dig into this oozing chocolate filled delight.

Sambusak – Mashed chickpeas, onions and spices wrapped in a triangular dough pocket. For an Indian style sambusak, visit Tandoor in Tel Aviv.

Shakshuka – Shakshuka is a dish of eggs poached in a sauce of tomatoes, sweet and spicy peppers and is often spiced with cumin and topped off with freshly cut herbs. Head to Dr. Shakshuka and swipe your bread across the pan to pick up the runny egg drenched sauce.

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Halva – Israel is known for its incredible variety of halvas made with sesame.

Ash Tanur – A sourdough flatbread, made without yeast and sugar and best eaten with some fresh local herbs and spices.

Fresh juices – From the juicy pomegranates to citrusy oranges, Israel prides itself on serving fresh and flavourful juices. Tamara is one of the many popular juice stands in Tel Aviv. (IANS)