Galilee man arrested for joining Islamic State

22-year-old Hamza Magamseh arrested last month upon returning to Israel, after 10-days of training with ISIS.

November 23, 2014 18:04
1 minute read.
Islamic State

An Islamic State terrorist holds a flag with the group's insignia.. (photo credit: REUTERS)


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A man from the Galilee was arrested last month for traveling to Syria to join Islamic State, the police and Shin Bet announced on Sunday.

Hamza Magamseh, 22, left for Turkey on October 5 along with three friends from his village of Yafia, adjacent to Nazareth. He and two of the friends decided to continue to Syria in order to join Islamic State, crossed the border and contacted people from the terrorist organization, the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) said.

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The three men were then taken to a training camp, where Magamseh spent 10 days before deciding to return to Israel by way of Turkey, the agency said. He was arrested upon landing at Ben-Gurion Airport on October 24.

The Shin Bet did not comment on the whereabouts of his friends who traveled to Syria with him.

On Sunday, an indictment was presented to the Nazareth District Court charging Magamseh with making contact with a foreign agent, membership in a banned organization, and conspiracy to commit a crime.

Several Israeli Muslims have been arrested after returning from Syria, where they joined Islamic State or other rebel groups. Most, like Magamseh, were only in the country for a short time, and did not see combat.

One man, though, Ahmed Shurbaji, a 23-year-old from Umm el-Fahm, was charged in November with spending three months fighting with Islamic State in Syria, during which he attended a training camp, took part in two gun battles, manned a checkpoint and took part in patrols against Syrian state forces.


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