Israeli Arab who Joined ISIS Returns to Israel

Hamza Samy Magamsah, a resident of Yafi'a returns to Israel with his father, after fleeing ISIS and being held in Turkey.

Cynthia Blank ,

Islamic State terrorists parade through Raqqa
Islamic State terrorists parade through Raqqa
Reuters

Hamza Samy Magamsah, a resident of the village of Yafi'a in the lower Galilee - who disappeared from Turkey over three weeks ago to join Islamic State (ISIS) militant jihadists in Syria - returned to Israel on Friday with his father.

Magamsah was detained by police in Turkey, where he returned after fleeing from terror group ISIS. 

Upon Magamsah's return, the chairman of the War on Religious Extremism in the World, former Deputy Minister Ayoob Kara (Likud), held a meeting of government chiefs of staff in the Druze village Daliyat al-Karmel. 

Magamsah left Israel for Turkey with four friends and arrived at Turkish Queen's Park hotel in Antalya. He and his friends had been invited and provided funding for the trip by ISIS members, after having been in constant touch through Facebook. 

After one night at the hotel and following a meeting with preachers, he and his friends left their passports and belongings at the hotel, and left with the preachers and a mentor to infiltrate the Syrian border. 

Kara said at the meeting that since four young men, including Magamsah, disappeared from Nazareth, "We have tried to bring them home in a variety of ways and allowed them contact with their families from within Syria.

"The talks with their families probably touched their hearts," encouraging them to return, Kara added.  

Mohammad Sharif returned two weeks ago. Magamsah was promised to be brought back to Israel, so he left Syria and returned to Turkey. A third is believed to also be on his way to returning to Israel.

There are now believed to be over 30 Israeli Arab citizens who have joined Islamic State in the past year. As a result of this phenomenon, Knesset members are pushing for higher restrictions - with some even suggesting the revocation of citizenship. 

Justice Minister Tzipi Livni (HaTnua) proposed a bill a week ago, which would make joining ISIS a criminal act. The motion stipulated that any national or resident of Israel who joined an organized non-national militia in a foreign country is committing a crime.

Violators could be sentenced to up to five years in Israeli prison. 

Kara claims that the youths grew disillusioned and were disappointed by Islamic State (ISIS) and so withdrew their plans.

He also addressed the threat of Israeli citizens joining ISIS calling the phenomenon "a dangerous illness that has never before been experienced, and we are fighting it with all our strength." 

Earlier this year 23-year-old Ahmed Shurbaji became the first Israeli Arab to be convicted for joining ISIS, after he too returned from fighting alongside the jihadi group.



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