Israeli Cabinet Convenes for Syria-related Humanitarian Issue

Communications with Damascus on the matter are mediated by Russia

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The Israel-Syria border, 2019
The Israel-Syria border, 2019Credit: גיל אליהו

The Israeli cabinet convened on Tuesday night for deliberations regarding a recent incident relating to Syria.

Communications with Damascus on the matter, which are said to be related to humanitarian issues, are being mediated by Russia.

Details of the meeting, which was convened at 6 P.M. and ended about an hour later, were banned from publication at Defense Minister Benny Gantz's request. Cabinet ministers were notified of the meeting at around 4 P.M., and were asked not to speak to the media about the existence of the meeting or its content.

Tuesday night's meeting came after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke with Russian President Vladimir Putin in recent days, as did Gantz and Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi with their Russian counterparts, Sergey Shoygu and Sergei Lavrov.

Russia has been a channel between Israel and the Assad administration in recent years, due to its deep involvement in what is happening in Syria. About two years ago, Moscow mediated the return of the remains of Zachary Baumel, an IDF soldier who was killed in the Battle of Sultan Yacoub in eastern Lebanon in June 1982. His remains were transferred from Syria to Russia a few days before arriving in Israel in April 2019.

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