A 23-year-old resident of the northern Israeli Arab city of Umm al-Fahm on Tuesday became the first Israeli citizen to be convicted for joining the brutal Islamic State (ISIS) terrorist organization in Syria.
The man, Ahmad Shurbaji, was charged by the Haifa Magistrates Court with illegally exiting Israel to an enemy nation and taking part in illegal military training with a terrorist organization, reports Channel 10.
The indictment against Shurbaji, which was submitted as early as May, detailed how the Arab citizen of Israel took part in an ISIS military camp, where he studied Islam and went through military training.
Shurbaji's activities in the war-torn state were not limited to mere training; the indictment elaborates that he took part in actual combat against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's forces, and was assigned to conducting military patrols to check the advance of Syrian forces.
The Israeli ISIS Islamist claimed in court that he could not be tried in the Jewish state given the lack of jurisdiction over actions taken in a foreign country - an argument that judge Orit Kantor tossed out.
"Leaving for military training in an enemy country, and particularly under the framework of the ISIS organization, is a security crime laden with great danger for the security of Israel," explained Kantor.
The judge added in her ruling that the return of Israeli Arabs from jihad in Syria "contains a high potential danger for the state of Israel - in terms of using (military) knowledge, importing ideologies, accumulating military experience and establishing a connection between them and the world jihadist organizations while encouraging attacks against Israel."
Shurbaji is expected to receive an extended jail term, with the Haifa district attorney to ask for at least several years of imprisonment for the returning jihadist.
Terrorists in the organization have also released a video showing how they took part in the recent Gaza terror war against Israel, and at least one former ISIS jihadist was killed in the Gaza fighting.
In response to the spreading reach of the jihadist organization threatening Israel, Arab citizens of Israel have shown ever-increasing support for ISIS, seen in such displays as flying ISIS flags and posting praise for the group on Facebook and other social media sites.