(December 18, 2019 / Israel Hayom) Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday promised to personally ensure the release of an Israeli American woman being held in Russia on drug charges.
Naama Issachar was arrested in April while traveling via Moscow from India after Russian airport security discovered 9.5 grams of cannabis in her belongings. Two months ago, she was sentenced by a Russian court to seven-and-a-half years in prison.
Speaking at a Likud Party gathering in Haifa, where he was greeted by hundreds of enthused supporters, Netanyahu promised to use his close relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin to see that the 26-year-old returns to Israel.
“I am not a magician, but I will bring Naama Issachar home,” he vowed.
Yaffa Issachar, Naama’s mother, sent a letter to Netanyahu on Tuesday requesting that he and the Israeli Foreign Ministry advocate for her daughter’s release before the first night of Hanukkah, which falls on Sunday, Dec. 22.
According to various reports, before Issachar was sentenced, Moscow pressured Jerusalem for a prisoner exchange with Russian hacker Alexei Burkov, who was incarcerated in Israel at the time. The government refused, later authorizing his extradition to the United States.
This article first appeared in Israel Hayom.
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