Israel has announced the release of two Syrian prisoners as a "diplomatic goodwill gesture", following the transfer of the body of an Israeli soldier missing since the 1980s, a media report said on Friday.
Sergeant First Class Zechariah Baumel, a US-born tank commander, went missing in battle during the 1982 Lebanon War. His remains were returned to Israel with help from Russia in April 2019, the BBC report said.
Both men -- Amal Abu Salah, Makat Sudki -- were residents of a Druze village in the Syrian Golan Heights, most of which has been occupied by Israel since the 1967 Middle East war.
Salah had been serving a sentence of seven years and eight months for the killing of a Syrian citizen. He was slated to be released in 2023.
Sudki had been serving an 11-year sentence since 2015 for charges of betrayal, espionage, supporting terror, and contact with a hostile organisation.
He was previously released from prison in 2012 after serving a 27-year sentence, the BBC report added.
In 2017, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu asked for the help of Russian President Vladimir Putin in locating the remains of Baumel and two other sergeants . Sgt Baumel's remains were eventually "located at specific co-ordinates in Syria", a Russian military spokesman said last year.