Israel Indicts Woman Who Crossed Into Syria Last Month

Noa Shpigel
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Israeli soldiers look towards Syria across the border from Mount Bental, last December
Israeli soldiers look towards Syria across the border from Mount Bental, last DecemberCredit: POOL/ REUTERS
Noa Shpigel

Israel indicted on Sunday an Israeli woman who crossed the border into Syria last month.

The indictment was filed at a Magistrate's Court in Nazareth behind closed the doors, and the woman's name has been barred from publication.

"Contrary to cases in which state security was harmed and no indictments were filed, in this case it is clear the young women did not harm Israel's security, nor did she intend to," said her lawyers, assigned to her by the public defender.

The woman arrived at the Golan Heights town of Majdal Shams, on the Israeli side of the border, on February 1 at around 8 P.M., according to the army's findings. She spent about two hours there and then starting climbing up a path that leads to the border area, and eventually crossed into Syria.

In exchange for her return, Israel nullified the sentence of a Druze woman from the Golan Heights who was ordered to perform community service and repatriated two shepherds to Syria, as part of a Russia-mediated deal struck with the Assad regime.

According to foreign reports, as part of the deal, Israel agreed to purchase hundreds of thousands of Russian-made COVID vaccines that will be given to Syria.  

According to an Israeli military probe, Israeli soldiers near Syria had received an alert of a possible border breach when the woman crossed it, but did not locate her because they suspected an intrusion into Israel.

According to the military's probe, in accordance with regulations, following receipt of the alert that the border had been breached, the soldiers initially conducted a scan to ascertain whether someone had entered Israel and only after realizing there had been no breach of the border from Syria, began looking into a possible entry into Syria from Israel. It was during that time, the probe found, that the woman got further into Syrian territory.

Although the IDF initially believed that the woman had crossed over into Syria through an unfenced portion of the border, the investigation revealed that she had in fact climbed over a fence with warning systems, 150 meters (about 164 yards) away from there.  

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