Israel to hand over sovereignty and possibly prisoners to free Naama Issachar

PM Netanyahu has been pressuring Pres. Putin to release a drug-carrying Israeli backpacker - and Putin may agree. But at what cost?

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Naama Issachar
Naama Issachar
Courtesy of the family

According to diplomatic sources in Israel, the price Israel will pay in exchange for Russia's release of Naama Issachar affects three areas: Words, gestures, and property, Channel 12 News reported.

The assumption is that Russian President Vladimir Putin expects that in his official speeches, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu will speak about the important role played by the Red Army and Russia in the war against the Nazis.

Regarding the properties, Putin is interested in strengthening is hold on Jerusalem. As part of the arrangement, three weeks ago Israel passed control over Alexander's Courtyard in Jerusalem's Old City to the Russians.

In addition, there is talk of handing over the prison in the "Russian Compound," which originally was under Russian control but was transferred to Israel in the 1960s. According to the Russians, this agreement was a "historic failure" and the country would like to repurchase the compound.

Russia is also expected to demand other gestures from Israel as well, such as easing restrictions for Russian tourists arriving in Israel, reduction of Israeli military activities in Syrian airspace, and possibly the release of prisoners, as was done in the agreement which brought Zachary Baumel's remains back to Israel.

Naama Issachar, an Israeli backpacker, was on her way home to Israel from India when she was found to be in possession of marijuana. In April 2019, Issachar was sentenced to a 7.5-year prison sentence in Russia.

According to Galatz, in October, when the issue of requesting pardon came up, Naama asked her mother, "Mom, why do I need a pardon? That means I'm a criminal and I'm not."

However, though she claimed to have "no idea" how the drug got into her bag, Naama was recorded telling her friend that she's "in much bigger trouble" than the two had hoped for. She has also claimed that she never confessed to the smuggling attempt.

Issachar appealed her sentence in December, but the court rejected her appeal. The family has since promised to appeal again, this time to the International Human Rights Tribunal in Strasbourg, France.




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