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October 29, 2019 9:26 am

Netanyahu Meets With Mother of Israeli-American Woman Jailed in Russia: ‘I’m Making a Daily Effort to Bring Her Back’

avatar by Benjamin Kerstein

Naama Issachar takes a selfie in Israel in this undated picture. Photo: Family photo / Handout via Reuters / File. 

The mother of an Israeli-American woman currently incarcerated in Russia on drug charges met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the head of Israel’s National Security Council on Monday to discuss efforts to obtain her release.

Naama Issachar, 26, was arrested in Russia while trying to board a connecting flight to Israel as she returned home from a trip to India. She was found to be in possession of 9.6 grams of cannabis and sentenced to seven-and-a-half years in prison for smuggling, a charge she denies.

According to Israeli news site Mako, at the meeting with Netanyahu and Meir Ben-Shabbat, Netanyahu updated Issachar’s mother Yafa on his efforts to free her daughter, and said he had brought up the issue with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“I’m making a daily effort to bring her back to Israel,” Netanyahu told Yafa.

Yafa is scheduled to meet with Naama in prison on Wednesday, but the judge set the condition that they could not talk in Hebrew because the guards would be unable to understand them.

The Israeli news outlet Walla reported that Yafa released a video last week saying Naama “comes from a different mentality. She is incarcerated without understanding the language and mentality. I ask for justice — to send her home, where she belongs. She did not intend to do anything attributed to her. I beg, please, let her go home.”

One of Naama’s attorneys, Alexei Dobrinin, said, “Our goal is to reverse the case and show the court the simple truth: Naama Issachar’s sentence is illegal, illogical, and unjust.”

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