Israel is taking significant steps against citizens who join the Islamic State terror group, also hoping to deter others.
Israel’s Interior Ministry has begun the process of stripping 19 individuals of their citizenship for joining the Islamic State (ISIS) terror group in Syria.
A new Israeli law allowing the Minister of Interior to revoke the citizenship of Israelis who join a foreign terrorist organization went into effect this week.
Interior Minister Aryeh Deri, who initiated the law, said it has a strong deterring effect.
Israel’s Channel 2 reported Tuesday that the Shin Bet (Israel’s Security Agency) has provided the ministry with names of 20 such individuals. One of the persons on the list was killed in action.
Those on the list are mostly Arabs, but there are also two who were born Jewish and converted to Islam. One had served in the IDF.
The two converts, a 28-year-old woman and a 32-year-old man, were born in the Former Soviet Union. Channel 2 spoke to the man’s sister, who said she had no knowledge of his actions.
A total of 60 Israelis have traveled to Syria and Iraq over the past several years to fight with various rebel groups, including ISIS. At least 10 of them were arrested on their return to the country, and others have been killed in action.
The Shin Bet views Israelis who support the Islamic State organization as a serious security threat. Israeli security forces have exposed several ISIS terror cells, comprised mostly of Arabs holding Israeli citizenship, operating in the Jewish state. Tens of suspects were arrested.
Israel fears that Israelis returning home after fighting alongside ISIS will use their experience to establish terror networks and launch attacks within the country. Another threat is the possibility of ISIS influencing Arab Israelis, especially via social media, to attack the Jewish state and its citizens.
By: World Israel News Staff