Israeli-Arab arrested for fighting alongside Syrian rebels

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israel indicted an Arab-Israeli citizen for fighting with a group of Syrian rebels.

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Hikmat Massarwa, 29, of Taibe in northeastern Israel was arrested nearly one month ago after setting up a rebel base and participating in weapons training in Syria. The arrest and indictment were under a gag order until Wednesday.

Massarwa, a baker in Herzliya, was charged with unlawful military training, traveling to an enemy state and having contacts with foreign agents. He faces imprisonment of up to 15 years.

He is accused of fighting alongside members of al-Qaida and other radical Islamists.

Massarwa also has a brother who is unaccounted for after entering Syria several months ago also to join the rebels.

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

He left Israel and entered Syria via Turkey.

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