After being pardoned by Putin, Naama Issachar returns to Israel

After nearly 10 months jailed in Russia, Israeli-American woman returns to Israel on flight with Prime Minister Netanyahu.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Naama Issachar and her mother meet the Netanyahus
Naama Issachar and her mother meet the Netanyahus
Kobi Gideon/GPO

Naama Issachar, the Israeli-American woman imprisoned in Russia for nearly 10 months, landed in Israel Thursday afternoon, along with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, Netanyahu’s wife, Sara.

Issachar, 26, was accompanied by her mother, Yaffa Issachar, after she was released from a Russian prison Thursday morning, following President Vladimir Putin’s decision to grant her a presidential pardon.

Liad Issachar, Naama’s sister, told Galey Tzahal that the family wanted to give Naama “some peace and quiet” once she returned home.

“There’s some kuba, meatballs, and salad waiting for her at home, and the water heater is on.”

Before takeoff Thursday, Netanyahu told Issachar that he and Sara were “excited to see” her. “Now we’re going home.”

Issachar, an Israeli-born woman who moved with her family to New Jersey before moving back to Israel at age 16, was arrested last April in a Moscow airport after nine grams of marijuana were found in her luggage. She had been waiting in Moscow for a connecting flight back home to Israel, following a trip to India.

After being convicted of drug smuggling, Issachar was sentenced to seven-and-a-half years in prison, before being pardoned.