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Israeli Prime Minister: Researcher Elizabeth Tsurkow kidnapped in Iraq is alive and held by Islamists

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Elizabeth Tsurkow, an Israeli-Russian national who disappeared in Iraq a few months ago, is alive and held hostage by the Shi’ite Kataib Hezbollah militia, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office said. The Reuters agency reminded that Israeli citizens are banned from traveling to Iraq.

The prime minister’s office said on Wednesday that Elizabeth Tsurkow “is still alive and we believe that Iraq is responsible for her fate.” According to the administration of Benjamin Netenjahu, Tsurkov is being held by the Shi’ite Kataib Hezbollah militia. The communiqué assured that the relevant state institutions are dealing with the matter.

The BBC reminded that Iraq and Israel they do not maintain diplomatic relations, and that in June 2022 the Iraqi parliament passed a law that criminalizes attempts to normalize relations with Israel.

She conducted research for Princeton University

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The abducted woman is a researcher at Princeton University in the US and visited Iraq on her own initiative using a Russian passport to work on her PhD and conduct research in Baghdad. The university’s website states that Tsurkova is pursuing a doctorate in political science. It is also written that in the past she conducted field research in Syria.

The university said in a statement that its representatives are “deeply concerned about Tsurkow’s safety and health” and that both her family and the university look forward to her return.

The American think tank New Lines Institute for Strategy and Policy, of which Tsurkow is a member, said it last contacted the woman in March. It was noticed that the situation of the researcher was complicated by the fact that she openly criticized Israel, Iran and Russia. “We all feel that United States they must be involved in helping in some way.

Tsurkova’s mother told N12 News that she lost contact with her daughter two months ago. “As far as I know, she was in Turkey doing her research for Princeton. I didn’t even know he was in Iraq.

Tsurkowa’s Twitter profile is followed by nearly 80,000 users. Her last tweet was posted on March 21. In it, she posted footage of Kurdish protests in northwestern Syria.

The Reuters Agency notes that Israeli citizens are banned from traveling to Iraq. Kataib Hezbollah is one of the most powerful Iranian-backed armed militias there.

Main photo source: Reuters

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