Israeli Arab Convicted of Trying to Join Islamic State

YERUSHALAYIM -
A fighter of the Islamic State holds an IS flag and a weapon on a street in the city of Mosul, Iraq, in this 2014 file photo. (Reuters/Stringer/Files)

Wizzam Zabidat, a resident of the Galilee Arab town of Sakhnin, was convicted on Tuesday of planning and acting to join the Islamic State terror group. Zabidat and his wife Wzbarin, together with their children, traveled to Syria in order to join ISIS.

According to the indictment handed down last October, the Zabidats had left Israel for Iraq in July 2015, traveling by way of Romania. They then entered Turkey, and from there made contact with ISIS agents, who took them into Syria. There they officially joined the group, and were sent to Mosul, where Wizzam Zabidat fought with IS, while his wife worked in a local hospital. Their three children went to ISIS-sponsored schools in Mosul. They decided to return to Israel after Wizzam Zabidat was injured in the fighting.

The Zabidats were charged with making contact with a foreign agent, and attempting to leave Israel and join a terror group. According to the indictment, the Israeli public was “in profound danger” as a result of their adventure. All members of the family are Israeli citizens and there was grave concern that they planned to cary out terror attacks in Israel on behalf of ISIS.

Wasbarin Zabidat was the organizer of the project, and was sentenced in March to 50 months in prison. Wizzam Sabidat will be incarcerated in the coming days.