After a top Israeli national security blog reported that a prisoner swap with Syria was secretly brokered by Russia—that Israel would purchase Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine for Syria to close the deal—Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu half-confirmed and half-denied the news Saturday night. “I want to say that not even one Israeli vaccine went for this thing,” Netanyahu said. “ I thank President Putin that we did this. And more than this I won’t add because that was the Russian request.” The terms of the deal were first reported by blogger Richard Silverstein, and later confirmed by The New York Times. Israeli authorities described the prison swap as a standard exchange; an unnamed Israeli women prisoner in Syria for two shepherds. A source also confirmed to the Wall Street Journal that vaccines were part of the deal. The Guardian reported in January that native Palestinians were being excluded from Israel’s vaccine drive.
Read it at The Wall Street Journal
Netanyahu Confirms Russia Brokered Israel-Syria Prisoner Swap, Dodges Report That Vaccines Were in Deal – The Daily Beast