Russia brokers Israel-Syria deal to recover Israeli woman who strayed into Quneitra

Under an Israel-Syria deal brokered by Moscow, Syria would release a young Israeli woman detained  after accidentally crossing the border into Quneitra, in return for two Golan Syrians jailed in Israel. National Security Advisor Meir Ben-Shabbat and Yaron Blum, who looks after Israeli captive issues, have flown to Moscow to discuss the terms of the swap. On Wednesday, the Syrian News Agency SANA broke the story after it was censored in Israeli media and named the two prisoners as Nahal al-Makal and Diab Kahamuz. The latter is serving a 14-year sentence after he was convicted in 2018 for plotting an attack on a north Israeli shopping center on behalf of Hizballah.

These negotiations were the subject of a, top-secret cabinet meeting on “a humanitarian affair” that was summoned urgently on Tuesday by PM Binyamin Netanyahu. Last week, he spoke with President Vladimir Putin to request Moscow’s intercession with Damascus to obtain the young woman’s release.

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