Hospital Confirms: Israeli Doctor Joined ISIS

Othman Abed Elkian, an intern at Barzilai Hospital disappeared 5 months ago. Israel security officials determined he joined ISIS terrorists.

Cynthia Blank ,

Fighters from the Islamic State (file)
Fighters from the Islamic State (file)

The Barzilai Medical Center in Ashkelon released an announcement Sunday morning that an intern who had worked at the hospital in early 2014 left to join the Islamic State (ISIS). Channel 2 published the story. 

According to Arab media reports, the doctor, a resident of a Bedouin settlement in the Negev, was killed fighting for the terrorist organization. 

Othman Abed Elkian, a man in his 20s, finished his medical studies in Jordan a few years ago. After passing the exams, he accepted a temporary Israeli medical license and began practicing at the Barzilai Medical Center in February, according to the hospital. 

Elkian chose to continue practicing at Soroka Hospital in Beersheva, and was supposed to begin in May. Shortly thereafter he disappeared. "Security officials contacted us and questioned us about him," Barzilai said Sunday. "We became aware that he chose to join ISIS."

The terrorist organization has taken control of large areas in Iraq and Syria in recent months. It continues to fund an extensive recruitment campaign of potential activists from around the world - including Israel.

Security services estimate that the number of Israelis who have joined the Islamic state is relatively insignificant, consisting of dozens only. However, the concern still remains that even a small number of extremists could pose a security threat should they successfully return from Syria or Iraq undetected.

Last week it was reported that three Israeli Arabs from the Galilee joined ISIS. They flew to Turkey, ostensibly to celebrate the recent Eid al-Adha holiday, and from there continued to Syria.  

Another Israeli citizen, Ahmed Habshi, from the village of Iksal, was recently killed fighting in Iraq. His family spoke to press in order to send a message to young people like him. 

"My son went to Syria last January. We did not know his intentions. He was an outstanding student studying sociology and statistics at Kinneret College. Suddenly, one day he disappeared and then we received a phone call from Syria that he was fighting there with ISIS" his father lamented to Channel 2. "I told him that this was not our religion, it is not the message of Islam."