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According to reports, Moscow is facilitating a prisoner exchange between Israel and Iran

By 07/09/2023 6:49 PMNo CommentsBy YidInfo Staff


According to a report in Kan News, Russia is facilitating a prisoner exchange between Israel and Iran that would result in Elizabeth Tsurkov, a dual citizen of Israel and Russia, being freed.

Tsurkov is being held hostage in Iraq by the Shi’ite group Kata’ib Hezbollah, which is backed by Iran.

According to a Kan News article, discussions for her release are happening, as reported by sources in the militia to the Asharq Al-Awsat Arabic-language international daily.

It was disclosed in late June that the Iranian leader of an assassination squad preparing to murder Israelis in Cyprus had been apprehended by Israel’s Mossad spy service.

Yusef Shahabazi Abbasalilu was kidnapped during the operation, which took place on Iranian territory, and the plot was thwarted as a result.

Following Abbasalilu’s capture, negotiations between Israel and Iran for his release in exchange for Tsurkov started under Russian mediation.

Tsurkov, 36, a non-resident fellow at the New Lines Institute for Strategy and Policy in Washington and a PhD candidate at Princeton University, has been missing for four months.

Elizabeth Tsurkov is still alive, and Iraq is accountable for ensuring her security and well-being, according to a statement released last week by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office.

The State of Israel’s responsible parties are handling the situation because they are concerned for Elizabeth Tsurkov’s safety, the statement continued.

Tsurkov had traveled to Iraq on a Russian passport to carry out research for her doctoral degree.

The last video of Tsurkov before she was reported missing, according to Arab media, was released over the weekend.

An Iranian-backed Shi’ite force known as Kata’ib Hezbollah, sometimes known as the Hezbollah Brigades, operates in both Syria and Iraq.

The organization was designated a foreign terrorist organization by Washington in 2009 as a result of the numerous assaults it carried out in Iraq as a member of the Popular Mobilization Forces.


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