Arab Israeli who joined ISIS sent to jail

Wissam Zbedat, who joined ISIS, sent by Haifa court to more than five years in jail.

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Reuters

A court in Haifa on Thursday sentenced an Arab Israeli man to more than five years in jail for joining the Islamic State (ISIS) jihadist group.

The court said in a statement that it sentenced Wissam Zbedat to 70 months in prison and a 14,000 shekel ($4,000) fine for travelling to Syria to fight for ISIS.

The prosecution accused Zbedat and his wife, Sabreen, of leaving the country in 2015 with their three children then aged three, six and eight for Syria to join ISIS.

Police said Sabreen had convinced her husband to join the group.

The couple, who come from Sakhnin in northern Israel, received religious instruction and military training. Wissam later became a fighter for the group, including in the Iraqi city of Mosul, where he was injured in the leg.

Wissam was convicted last June, three months after Sabreen was convicted and sentenced to 50 months in prison.

The family decided to leave Syria following Wissam's injury and a bombing campaign by the international coalition fighting ISIS, but were arrested in Turkey and returned to Israel in September 2016. The children have been put into the care of relatives.

This was the first known case of an entire Israeli Arab family joining the jihadist organization. The Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) estimates that around 50 Israeli Arabs have travelled to Iraq or Syria to fight with ISIS.

In June, the Shin Bet and Israeli Police arrested Mohammed Ahmed Azzam, an Israeli Arab from the village of Kfar Manda in the lower Galilee who had supported and identified with ISIS, was in contact with operatives and supporters of the terror group, and had made preparations to set out and join the group and join its fighting ranks.

In August, it was cleared for publication that two Israeli Arabs who were recruited by the ISIS terror organization were arrested the previous month.

AFP contributed to this report.








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