Israeli Arab Family Seeks to Return After Fling With IS

YERUSHALAYIM -
A fighter of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) holds an ISIL flag and a weapon on a street in the city of Mosul, Iraq, in this June 23, 2014 file photo. To match MIDEAST-CRISIS/IRAQ-TURKEY REUTERS/Stringer/Files
An Islamic State terrorist holds an IS flag and a weapon on a street in the city of Mosul, Iraq, in this 2014 file photo. (Reuters/Stringer/Files)

A family from the Arab village of Sakhnin that left Israel to join the Islamic State terror group in Syria is now seeking to return to Israel, Haaretz reported Thursday. The family is currently in the custody of Turkish police, after sneaking back over the border into Turkey, at the end of a two-month stay in Syria fighting for IS.

Turkish security forces have contacted officials at the Israeli embassy in Ankara about the matter. The report said that deliberations are continuing, and that no decision has been made on when or if to repatriate them.

The family includes three children, who left Israel for Turkey in June along with their parents and entered Syria, where they apparently entered IS-controlled areas. Relatives of the family were opposed to the move. In interviews in June, the grandmother of the children said that it had been her son-in-law’s idea to go to Syria, and that his wife (her daughter) had been opposed. “We asked them to leave the children here, at least, but they refused,” she told Channel Two. “All we care about is keeping my grandchildren safe.”

According to relatives, the family gave up on its “dream” and decided to leave IS-controlled areas as the war increased in intensity. They snuck back into Turkey where they were met by a family member who was to accompany them back to Israel, but were arrested by Turkish police in the interim.