Arab-Israeli going to prison for fighting with ISIS

Marcy Oster

JERUSALEM (JTA) — An Arab-Israeli who trained in Syria with ISIS was sentenced to prison for nearly two years.

Ahmed Shurbaji, 23, from the northern village of Umm al-Fahm, was sentenced by the Haifa District Court on Monday to a term of 22 months.

He is the first Israeli convicted for having ties to the Islamic State jihadist group, also known as ISIS or ISIL. He had been charged with illegal infiltration and taking part in illegal military training.

Shurbaji traveled in January from Turkey to Syria, where he was recruited to serve ISIS.

His training included religious studies, as well as learning to use several weapons, such as a Kalashnikov rifle and an anti-tank missile launcher.

In April, Shurbaji reportedly asked to return to Israel, where he was arrested. He left his passport in Syria.

“The defendant confesses, admits the mistake he made, and there is no chance he will repeat his actions,” Shurbaji’s lawyers, Hussein and Anas Abu Haseen, said.

The maximum sentence would have been four years.

Several Arab-Israelis have been charged with ties to ISIS in recent months.