Arab-Israeli who fought with Syrian rebels jailed

JERUSALEM (JTA) — An Arab-Israeli citizen who fought with a group of Syrian rebels was sentenced to 30 months in an Israeli prison.

Hikmat Massarwa, 29, of Taibe in northeastern Israel, was arrested in March after setting up a rebel base and participating in weapons training in Syria. He works as a baker in Herzliya.

Massarwa was sentenced Monday in Lod District Court.

Massarwa told the Shin Bet security service that he refused requests to perpetrate a terrorist attack within Syria and against an Israeli target. He also said he was asked about the nuclear reactor in Dimona and about Israeli military weapons.

He left Israel and entered Syria via Turkey.

Massarwa had faced up to 15 years in jail. Under a plea agreement, he admitted that his acts “had potential to threaten the security of the State of Israel.”

Also Monday, Israeli soldiers brought an injured Syrian man to the Ziv Medical Center in Safed for treatment for gunshot and shrapnel injuries. More than 100 Syrian civilians have been treated in Israeli hospitals since the start of their country’s two-year civil war, according to Israeli news reports.