Senior Israeli lawmaker: Iraqi Shiite militia that kidnapped Israeli citizen knew she was Israeli
Israel reveals Elizabeth Tsurkov, an Israeli and Russian citizen, was kidnapped in Iraq 4 months ago and is being held hostage by the Kataib Hezbollah militia
A senior Israeli lawmaker on Wednesday said the Iraqi Shiite militia group that kidnapped Israeli citizen Elizabeth Tsurkov four months ago, and is still holding hostage, knew she was Israeli, and that the State of Israel was working for her return home.
The Israeli Prime Minister's Office (PMO) revealed earlier that Tsurkov, an Israeli and Russian citizen, who went missing in Iraq four months ago, was alive and being held hostage by the Shiite militia group Kataib Hezbollah.
"Whoever kidnapped her apparently knew in advance that she was Israeli," the anonymous political official said. "Israel has been monitoring the matter for a long time, and the state is making efforts to return her home, and actions are being taken accordingly."
"Iraq is defined as an enemy state. Israeli law prohibits Israeli citizens from entering there, even those who have another foreign citizenship," the official continued.
"As far as [Israel] is concerned, she is a citizen in distress, and every effort will be made to take care of her.”
"She is not a Mossad agent. Elizabeth is an innocent Israeli citizen, who came on an academic mission in Iraq. She has nothing to do with Israeli officials.”
According to the PMO's statement, Tsurkov "is still alive, and we see Iraq as responsible for her fate and safety."
It added that Tsurkov is "an academic woman who visited Iraq, using her Russian passport, and on her own initiative for a doctoral thesis and academic research on behalf of Princeton University in the United States."
"The incident is being handled by the relevant authorities in the State of Israel, with concern for the safety and well-being of Elizabeth Tsurkov."
Tsurkov, an avid Twitter user, last tweeted four months ago in December, with a link to her research on Turkey's proxies in Syria.