Photo Credit: courtesy
Israeli-Russian researcher Elizabeth Zurkov.

The office of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu confirmed and released for publication Wednesday evening that Elizabeth Zurkov, a dual Israeli-Russian citizen, was abducted four months ago in Iraq and is being held hostage by Kata’ib Hezbollah, a local militia linked to the Iranian-backed Hezbollah terrorist organization.

Zurkov, an IDF veteran, has been missing for several months in Iraq, which she entered on her Russian passport to work on researching her doctoral thesis.


“Elizabeth Zurkov is still alive, and we see Iraq as responsible for her fate and safety,” the Prime Minister’s Office said in a terse statement Wednesday evening.

“This is an academic woman who visited Iraq using her Russian passport on her “The matter is being handled by the relevant parties in the State of Israel out of concern for Elizabeth Tsurkov’s security and well-being,” the PMO added.

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for, and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.