Report: Plane to Bring Back Israeli Detainee on its Way

YERUSHALAYIM -

The deal for the return of an Israeli being detained in Syria after accidentally crossing the border appeared on its way to completion on Thursday night as a plane departed Tel Aviv for Moscow to bring her back to Israel, according to media reports.

The Israeli citizen has reportedly been in Russian custody since Wednesday and has met with Yaron Bloom, government coordinator for negotiating the return of POWs and MIAs, and National Security Adviser Meir Ben-Shabbat, during their visit there yesterday. Bloom was said to be on board the private jet tasked with bringing her back home.

Russia has been mediating between Yerushalayim and Damascus for her release in exchange for two Golan Heights residents, Nihal Al-Maqt and Dhiyab Qahmuz, who were being held in detention for terrorist activities.

Their refusal to be deported to Syria, as Damascus had demanded, delayed the swap on Wednesday, and it was not immediately known how that problem was solved.

Israeli officials were quoted by Ynet as saying that the deal will go through Thursday “unless there are any surprises.”