Tonight (Thursday-Friday), the plane landed on board the young Israeli woman who crossed the border into Syrian territory, as part of an agreement for the release of Russian-mediated prisoners – and after arriving in Russia since yesterday. Captive and Missing Coordinator Yaron Blum went to Russia to return her. A security source said that the security system hoped that no festive receptions were planned at the airport when the plane and the young woman landed.
“A few days ago, a young Israeli woman crossed the border into Syria. I spoke twice with a friend of Russian President Vladimir Putin. I asked for his help to get it back, and he did act. I would like to thank him for joining us again in returning Israeli citizens to Israel. Israel has always done and will always do everything in its power to bring our citizens back to the land. I would like to thank the President of the State, the head of the National Security Council, the Coordinator of Prisoners and Missing Persons, the IDF, the GSS, the Mossad, the Ministry of Defense, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and everyone who helped in this important operation. Thank you, “Netanyahu said.
As noted, Prime Minister Netanyahu has spoken with Russian President Putin twice in recent days, on 8.2.21 and 13.2.21, and asked to assist Israel in restoring Israeli citizenship. President Putin responded positively to Prime Minister Netanyahu’s request to thank him for his assistance. The head of the National Security Council and the political adviser to the Russian president have continued a series of talks in order to complete the details of the civil return.
“The State of Israel wishes to express appreciation for the actions of the President of Russia and as a gesture of goodwill Israel has returned to Syria two shepherds who entered Israel and will shorten the service work (through pardon) of Nihal al-Makat by three months,” the Prime Minister’s Office said.
As part of the deal, IDF forces today returned two shepherds to the Red Cross in Syrian territory through the Quneitra crossing, in accordance with the instructions of the political echelon. Initiated by the forces east of the fence, after crossing the border line into Israeli territory.
Earlier in the day, Maariv learned that significant progress had been made in negotiations for the return of the young Israeli woman who had crossed the border into Syrian territory. It now appears that the deal is close to closing. At the same time, Israel is optimistic about the fact that the Russians are determined to close the deal quickly.
Regarding the crossing of Israel to Syria, this is a recurring question whose personal motives have not yet been clarified. It can be estimated that it crossed the border at the point where the new barrier (“Hourglass Project”) was not erected, on the eastern slopes of Mount Hermon, and was not identified at the time of the crossing. In fact, the report that there was an Israeli woman in Syria came from the Syrians in retrospect, after realizing that this was not a security issue. In the past, soldiers arrested him in the area of the fence in Gaza. It is unclear whether she thought of crossing the fence.
Our correspondent Tal Lev Ram addressed the issue in detail this morning on 103FM, explaining: “We understand that there is optimism that the Russians are involved in it and want to resolve it, and the Syrians are very much affected by the Russians.
Yesterday, Syrian television reported that contacts were taking place between the Israeli government and the Assad government in Syria, mediated by a senior Russian official, for the release of an Israeli woman who accidentally crossed the border and was arrested by the country’s security forces. According to publications in the foreign media, this is a 25-year-old ultra-Orthodox Israeli from the locality of Kiryat Sefer. Following the contacts, National Security Adviser Meir Ben Shabbat took off for Moscow in order to reach an agreement on the exchange of prisoners, and returned to Israel last night.
The special envoy of the Russian president for Syrian affairs, Alexander Lebrentiev, was asked yesterday by the prestigious Russian newspaper “Kommersant”, what is the subject of the contacts that have been taking place in recent days between Israel and Russia. Lebrentiev said in response that “the contacts are taking place and should be welcomed because during them there is a possibility of reaching agreements on preventing Israeli attacks in Syrian territory.”
The Syrian media reported that it was preceded by a secret government meeting that dealt with an important security issue, and took place frontally and offline, like other government meetings in recent times. At the meeting, it was clarified to the ministers that in the last two weeks there have been close contacts with the senior Russian leadership on the issue of a sensitive humanitarian issue in Syria.
Source: Maariv.co.il – פוליטי – מדיני by www.maariv.co.il.
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