Israeli Arabs Sentenced to Prison Time for Joining ISIS

A growing number of Israeli Arabs from more radical communities have been openly supporting ISIS

By Israel Today Staff |
An handcuffed prisoner poses for the camera trough the hole of a door cell in a jail in the Ayalon complex in Gush Dan, the center of Israel. Photo by Nati Shohat /Flash90. *** Local Caption *** ???? ???? ??? ???? ??? ???????? ?????? ??????? ?????? Photo: Nati Shohat /Flash90

An Israeli Arab from the town of Sakhnin in northern Israel was sentenced on Thursday to nearly six years in prison after he, his wife and their three children pledged allegiance to ISIS and moved to the so-called “Caliphate.”

This is the heaviest sentence yet imposed on an Israeli convicted of joining ISIS.

Wissam Zbedat was sentenced at the District Court of Haifa to a fine of 14,000 shekels. His wife, Sabreen, who is believe to have convinced her husband to join the jihadists, had already been sentenced to four years in prison.

In June 2015, the Zbedat family left Israel and made their way via Romania and Turkey back to neighboring Syria, where they promptly sought membership in ISIS.

Wissam spent the next several months training as a jihadist, and later participated in a number of ISIS battles, including in the Iraqi city of Mosul, where he was wounded in the leg.

As ISIS began to lose ground thanks to incessant bombing campaigns by an international coalition, the family returned to Turkey, where they were arrested and extradited to Israel.

“Yes, I was in Mosul and am a member of ISIS,” Zbedat admitted during the start of his trial last year.

Zbedat’s activities have raised concerns that others in more radical Muslim communities in northern Israel also harbor pro-ISIS sentiments and could provide the jihadist group with a foothold in the Jewish state.

PHOTO: Wissam Zbedat in the courtroom in Haifa (Flash90)


Israel Today Membership

Read all member content. Access exclusive, in-depth reports from Israel! Free Zoom events. Connect with Israel right from your home! Raise a voice of truth and hope. Support Faith-based journalism in Jerusalem!


/ month
Full access to Israel Today's Member-only content on all Digital Platforms.
Become a Member


/ year
Full access to Israel Today's Member-only content on all Digital Platforms.
Save 18% Per Month.
Become a Member

Six Months

every 6 months
Full access to Israel Today's Member-only content on all Digital Platforms.
Save 9% Per Month.
Become a Member

Leave a Reply

Israel Today Newsletter

Daily news

FREE to your inbox

Israel Heute Newsletter

Tägliche Nachrichten

KOSTENLOS in Ihrer Inbox

Subscribe to our Daily Newsletter