Hezbollah-affiliated reporter Ali Shoeib claimed on Sunday that the Israeli woman returned to Israel in a prisoner exchange deal
with Syria last week was spotted along the Lebanese-Israeli border in 2020.
Photographs taken from Lebanon in October 2020 and shared on Twitter showed an Israeli woman in a vehicle near the border fence. Hezbollah-affiliated media claimed at the time that she was a soldier sent to the border by the IDF in civilian clothing.
The pictures were taken during a state of alert along the border in which little military activity occurred along the border due to threats and attempts by Hezbollah to carry out a revenge attack.
"Since there are no men in the Zionist army out of hiding and fear!! Today, they sent a female soldier in a car and in civilian clothes to scan the military road...Note: Two and a half months ago, the enemy did not dare to send soldiers to the region!!" read a tweet by Shoeib at the time.
The Hezbollah-affiliated reporter claimed that the road is inaccessible by civilians as it is closed off by an iron gate that can only be opened with the approval of the IDF. Israel was also in the midst of a national coronavirus lockdown at the time, meaning that if the woman was more than 1 kilometer from her home, she was also breaking Health Ministry regulations.
At the time, Avichay Adraee, the IDF's Arabic language spokesperson, responded to Shoeib on Twitter, writing, "Responding to you with the truth and what is happening on the ground is not important, because the truth does not concern you at all for being a proponent of promoting falsehood and hypocrisy."
Some details of the prisoner exchange, including the woman's name, are under censor. The young Israeli woman who had wandered into Syria was returned last week
after negotiations mediated by Russia in exchange for the release of two Syrian shepherds. Recent reports in Israeli media have claimed that a secret component of the deal was withheld from the public, with some reports claiming that Israel paid for coronavirus vaccines for Syria.
The woman, from the haredi town of Modi'in Illit, reportedly crossed into Syria several weeks ago. The Syrian state news agency said on Wednesday that she crossed the border “by mistake” and was immediately arrested.
The woman reportedly crossed into Syria in the Golan Heights in an area without a fence without the IDF noticing.
Israeli media reported that the woman's Facebook account showed her traveling all over the country, including into parts of the Palestinian territories which Israelis are forbidden to enter. "I do not recognize your lines, neither green, nor blue nor purple. The red line will not stop me either," she wrote, according to KAN news.Lahav Harkov, Udi Shaham, Tovah Lazaroff and Celia Jean contributed to this report.