Syrian deputy FM: No peace deal with Israel unless our prisoners freed

It will be impossible for Syria to sign a peace deal with Israel unless all Syrian prisoners in Israeli jails are freed, the country's deputy foreign minister, Faisal Mekdad, said Tuesday. In an interview with Syrian state television, Mekdad congratulated Hizbullah for reaching a prisoner swap deal with Israel, even though the 13 Syrians imprisoned in Israel won't be part of the exchange. A member of the committee calling for the Syrian prisoners' release, Ayman Abu Jabel, who lives in the Golan Heights, said the organization made several appeals to secure the release of the prisoners - 10 Druse from the Golan Heights and three residents of the border town Ghajar. He said the organization had appealed to the UN, Syria, Lebanon and Hizbullah but that their requests fell on deaf ears.