Deal to free Israeli woman stalled by jailed Syrians’ refusal of handover
Under the Israel-Syrian deal brokered by Moscow, an Israeli woman of 25 from Modiin Ilit was to be released by Syria after inadvertently crossing the border at Quneitra. It was to be a swap for two Syrian Golan residents, jailed by Israel on security charges in collaboration with Hizballah. However, it turns out that Nihal Al-Maqt and Dhiyah Qahamuz, both members of the Druze community, are holding out against being handed to the Syrian authorities in Damascus. They are only ready to go back to their homes in the Golan village of Ghajar. Israel’s national security adviser Meir Ben-Shabbat is in Moscow discussing a way out of the impasse.