Israel has not given up on securing the release of Naama Issachar from a Russian jail, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu wrote in a letter sent to her on Sunday night.
“Our nation has always been characterized by its heritage of mutual support — we don’t leave someone behind to their fate, and that’s how it is in your case as well,” he wrote her, according to a copy distributed by the Prime Minister’s Office.
“The State of Israel is investing unending efforts to bring about your freedom … we are all united in the expectation to see you soon.”
The prime minister appended a message in his own handwriting: “With you always, until your release and after.” The letter was signed by PM Netanyahu and his wife Sara.
Issachar received the letter on Sunday night, according to the PMO.
The Israeli citizen has been sentenced to 7.5 years on drug smuggling charges that are widely believed in Israel to be false, motivated by diplomatic agendas. Issachar claims her innocence, and that she was coerced into signing a confession in Russian without the aid of a translator. Russian officials insist that her incarceration is strictly a matter of law enforcement.
Russian President Vladimir Putin is slated to visit Israel next week, raising hopes for a goodwill gesture to grant her early release.
The prime minister spoke with Issachar’s mother, Yaffa Issachar, on Monday. She thanked him for the letter and said her daughter appreciated it and it gave her great hope, The Jerusalem Post reported.