Syria: Israel Assassinates Ex-lawmaker Who Served 12 Years in Israeli Jail

Midhat Saleh, who serves on the Golan Heights portfolio for the Assad government, was reportedly killed by gunfire in a Syrian town near the border

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 Midhat Saleh, an ex-member of Syrian parliament, allegedly assassinated by Israel
Midhat Saleh, an ex-member of Syrian parliament, allegedly assassinated by Israel Credit:
Jack Khoury

Israel has allegedly assassinated Midhat Saleh, an ex-member of Syrian parliament who previously served 12 years in Israeli prison, in the Golan Heights on Saturday, according to reports in Syria.

The assassination reportedly took place in the Syrian village of Ein Tina, overlooking Majdal Shams on the Israeli side of the border, according to Syrian state media. Israel, however, has declined to comment on the incident. 

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SANA, Syria's state media, added that Midhat was killed by gunfire, though it wasn't clear if he was shot from across the border or from an aircraft. Locals also reported a heavy presence of helicopters and UAVs in Majdal Shams on Saturday.

The Syrian government dubbed the assassination as "act of aggression and terrorism," adding it "will only increase the determination of the Syrian people to continue the struggle against the occupation to liberate the Golan Heights."

Midhat Saleh, an ex-member of Syrian parliament, allegedly assassinated by Israel

Midhat Saleh, who is 54-years-old, was considered an Iranian contact in the Syrian Golan Heights, who aided in plotting terror attacks against Israel.

He was arrested in 1985 for plotting against Israel in the Golan Heights. He left for Syria a year after he was released from a 12-year stint in Israeli prison in 1998. He served as a member of parliament until 2005, after which he was later appointed to the Golan Height's portfolio by Bashar Assad. 

Saleh was a well-known figure in the Golan Heights. Israel considered Saleh an important intelligence asset on the Golan Heights, and any person that met with him before returning to Israel was questioned on suspicion of contact with a foreign agent. His associates claim he was targeted for assassination in the past as well.

It has also been reported that Saleh built a house overlooking Majdal Shams and returned to live in the area after the Syrian army regained control over the Syrian side of the Golan Heights.

Earlier last week, two Iran-backed militants were killed after Israel struck targets in Syria’s military air base near Homs, a human rights watchdog reported last weekend.

The airstrike also injured six soldiers and caused material damage, official Syrian media reported Friday.

Israel has targeted the T4 military air base in the past, which is known to house Iranian forces.

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