Family Fears for Israeli Man Missing in Yemen

A Yemeni-born Israeli went missing while visiting Yemen to bring his brother back with him. His family fears he was abducted.

ISIS

ISIS executes prisoners. (Dabiq)

By: Lauren Calin, World Israel News

An Israeli man has been missing for three months after traveling to Yemen, and the family suspects he was kidnapped.

The 64-year-old Ashkelon resident, who made aliyah (immigrated to Israel) 20 years ago, was born in Yemen and still has a brother in that country. He left Jordan on June 1 with the intention of flying there and bringing the brother and his family to Israel within a few days. He was unable to find a direct flight, but told his family that he found three Jordanian men who were willing to give him a lift at no charge.

“I’m very concerned about his fate,” the man’s daughter was quoted in Ynet. “If he had arrived [in Yemen], I believe he would have gotten in contact with us. I am very worried that he’s fallen into ISIS’s hands. To my sorrow, no one will help us.”

Jordanian authorities confirmed that he left the country, but could not say where he was headed, the daughter said. According to the brother, he did not arrive in Yemen.

Houthi rebels yemen

Houthi rebels in Yemen. (AP/Hani Mohammed)

The Israeli Foreign Ministry in limited in its ability to provide assistance, as Israel and Yemen do not have diplomatic relations.

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The issue is also complicated by the current internal chaos in the Arab country. The Iran-funded Houthi rebellion controls large swaths of the country, and Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula has a strong foothold as well.

The Israeli had visited Yemen several times since moving to Israel. He was detained for three months on suspicion of spying for Israel during his last visit. Prior to making aliyah, he was arrested for hanging an Israeli flag on his family home.

Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs is refusing to comment on the case.