Israeli woman who crossed illegally into Syria indicted

An indictment was filed against the young woman who caused an international incident when she crossed the border illegally into Syria.

By Paul Shindman, World Israel News

The young Israeli woman who sparked an international incident when she crossed illegally into Syria last month was charged Sunday with criminal offenses, Walla News reported.

The Magistrate’s Court in Nazareth filed an indictment against the 25-year-old woman from Modi’in Illit, the details of which have not yet been released publicly, but most likely relate to crossing into an enemy country.

The adventurer had apparently previously tried to cross Israel’s borders on her own and managed to enter Syria after climbing over an electronic fence and then walking to a Syrian village.

Israeli soldiers monitoring the border failed to intercept her because they are trained to look for infiltrators into Israel and were not expecting an Israeli to walk into war-torn Syria.

The lawyers appointed by the Public Defender’s Office to represent the woman expressed their surprise that criminal charges were pressed, Channel 12 reported.

“In contrast to past cases where there was a violation of state security and no indictment was filed against people who crossed the border, in this case it is clear to all that the young woman did no harm and had no intention of harming state security,” defense attorneys Anat Yaari and Iyad Azzam said in a statement.

“It is therefore very puzzling that precisely against a young woman without a criminal record who is dealing with a complicated background, they chose to file an indictment. After studying the materials of the investigation, we will consider the continuation of our legal steps,” the lawyers said.

The woman chose to cross into Syria in the Golan Heights border area from the Israeli town of Majdal Shams. After walking into a Syrian village, she was noticed immediately by local residents who handed her over to Syrian authorities.

The Syrians interrogated her, but they soon realized that she was not an Israeli spy and asked Moscow to intervene to reach a deal with Israel for her return. Some of the details of that arrangement are banned from publication.

After being held for several weeks she was released and flown to Moscow in the Russian-brokered deal that saw Israel release two Syrians who had previously crossed into Israel and also reduce the sentence of a pro-Syrian agitator living in Majdal Shams.

As part of the deal Israel agreed to pay Russia at least $1 million for the purchase of Russia’s Sputnik-V coronavirus vaccine and their transfer to Syria, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stating that “no Israeli vaccine has been delivered, I will not elaborate further on Russia’s request.”