Israel and Syria are involved in intensive negotiations on a prisoner swap deal, hoping to exchange an Israeli young woman who mistakenly entered Syrian territory for two residents of the Israeli Golan Heights serving time in Israeli jails.
Senior Israeli officials, including National Security Adviser Meir Ben Shabbat and the government coordinator for prisoners and missing persons Yaron Blum, traveled to Moscow on Wednesday to continue negotiations.
Syria will free an Israeli woman “who entered Syrian territory by mistake…and was arrested by the relevant Syrian authorities,” Syrian state media reported on Wednesday.
According to Israeli media reports, the Israeli is 25-year-old from Modiin Illit with a Chareidi background.
Israel will release two residents of Israeli villages in the Golan Heights with a Druze population loyal to Syria who are serving prison sentences for terror and security offenses. The two prisoners are Dhiyab Qahmuz, who was sentenced by an Israeli court in 2018 to 16 years in prison for planning a terror attack in coordination with Hezbollah, and Nihal Al-Maqt, a woman indicted by an Israeli court for incitement in 2017.
The report comes a day after Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu convened a mysterious classified meeting on a “humanitarian issue” related to Syria.
Last week, there were many top-level calls between senior Israeli and Russian political figures, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi, and Defense Minister Benny Gantz, and their Russian counterparts.
There are also reports that the deal is a “triple deal” with Israel, Syria, and Hezbollah in Lebanon, with the Hezbollah operative being exchanged for Hezbollah “closing the account” for the Israeli killing of a Hezbollah operative in Syria last year.
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)