Israel Prisoner Swap Includes Vaccines for Syria, Report Says

A health worker removes a box of the Sputnik V vaccine from cold storage at a Covid-19 vaccination center at Domodedovo International Airport in Moscow, Russia, on Friday, Feb. 19, 2021. With Sputnik V winning international recognition earlier this month, overcoming early skepticism, Russia is pitching it to the EU as the bloc struggles with its vaccine rollout. Photographer: Andrey Rudakov/Bloomberg

(Bloomberg) --Israel agreed to buy hundreds of thousands of doses of Russian-made coronavirus vaccine for Syria as part of a prisoner swap deal, the Haaretz newspaper reported on Sunday, without saying where it got the information.

By Alisa Odenheimer
Word Count: 182

According to the report, the vaccine purchase was stipulated in a secret clause in a Russian-brokered deal to return an Israeli woman who crossed the border into Syria. In exchange, Israel agreed to return two shepherds who crossed from Syria into Israeli territory, and pardoned a Druze woman from the Israeli-held section of the Golan Heights who had been sentenced to community service. The Ynet website said she was convicted of monitoring and photographing Israeli soldiers along the frontier.

Syria’s state-run SANA news agency denied the report of the vaccine clause, saying it was a lie meant to improve Israel’s image.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said only that Israel didn’t give the Syrians any vaccine from its own inventory, Ynet said. He didn’t comment directly on whether Israel bought Russian-made vaccines for Syria.

Read more: Feb. 18, Israel Returns Two Shepherds to Syria as Prisoner Swap Reported

© 2021 Bloomberg L.P.
Information pertaining to Covid-19, vaccines, how to control the spread of the virus and potential treatments is ever-changing. Under the South African Disaster Management Act Regulation 11(5)(c) it is prohibited to publish information through any medium with the intention to deceive people on government measures to address COVID-19. We are therefore disabling the comment section on this article in order to protect both the commenting member and ourselves from potential liability. Should you have additional information that you think we should know, please email [email protected]

Please peer review 3 community comments before your comment can be posted

We would like our readers to start paying for Daily Maverick...

…but we are not going to force you to. Over 10 million users come to us each month for the news. We have not put it behind a paywall because the truth should not be a luxury.

Instead we ask our readers who can afford to contribute, even a small amount each month, to do so.

If you appreciate it and want to see us keep going then please consider contributing whatever you can.

Support Daily Maverick→
Payment options