TEL-AVIV, 19 Feb – RIA Novosti. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu thanked Russian President Vladimir Putin for his help in returning an Israeli citizen from Syria.
“A few days ago, a young Israeli woman crossed the border into Syria. I spoke twice with my friend Russian President Vladimir Putin. I asked him to help get her back, and he acted. I would like to thank him for supporting us again in returning our citizens to Israel, “Netanyahu said in a video message posted on social media.
The prime minister also thanked the President of Israel, the head of the National Security Council, the Coordinator for Prisoners and Missing Persons, the IDF, the General Security Service, Foreign Intelligence, the Ministry of Defense, the Foreign Ministry and everyone who took part in this operation for the assistance.
“Israel has always done and will always do everything in its power to bring our citizens home,” Netanyahu said.
The Israeli media reported earlier that the plane with the Israeli woman on board had already taken off from Moscow to Tel Aviv, the woman was feeling well and had already talked with her relatives.
Earlier on Thursday, Syria's state news agency SANA announced a prisoner exchange between Syria and Israel. According to the agency, as part of the completion of the prisoner exchange program mediated by the Russian Federation, Syrian prisoners Muhammad Ahmad Hussein and Tarek Gadab al-Ubeidan were released from Israeli prisons and returned to their villages in Quneitra province.
As noted by the agency, on Wednesday, within the framework of the exchange, activist Nahal al-Mukit was also released in exchange for an Israeli woman who mistakenly entered Syrian territory in the province of Quneitra.
On Wednesday, the agency reported that Ziyab Kahmuz was to become the second Syrian prisoner in the exchange, but the Palestinian Prisoners Club said that Kahmuz refused to be released on the condition that he returned to Syria, and insisted on returning to his native village in the Israeli-occupied Golan heights.
In April 2019, Israel transported two Syrians released from prison to Syria after the remains of Israeli tanker Zachariah Baumel, who had been missing for 37 years, were returned from Syria with the assistance of the Russian Federation.