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“After spending six months in jail on the outskirts of Moscow, a young Israeli woman named Naama Issachar was sentenced on Oct. 11 to seven-and-a-half years of imprisonment in Russia.
Both the extreme sentence and trumped-up charges of drug-smuggling have not only traumatized the 26-year-old from the central Israeli city of Rehovot and inflicted great anguish on her family and friends but they have also spurred the entire Israeli legal and political system into action.
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President Reuven Rivlin sent a letter to Russian President Vladimir Putin, pleading with him to pardon Issachar. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who recently discussed the matter with Putin in person when the pair met in Sochi in September, made another plea on Tuesday.
Issachar was detained in April while boarding a connecting flight to Israel from India, where she had been trekking with a friend for a few months. As she was about to get on the plane, she was stopped by Russian airport security on the grounds that 9.5 grams of cannabis had been found in her suitcase as it was being transferred from the belly of one plane to another.
Issachar’s plight has had such a grip on the nation that it now occupies the top news slot, overtaking reporting of the Turkish incursion against the Kurds in northeastern Syria. It is also garnering serious attention on social media and legal-fee crowdfunding.”
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