Sayyaf Sharif Daoud says jail is “very hard” and promises to reform and “become a respectable person.”
By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News
A 30-year-old Israeli Arab who joined the Islamic State terror group and was captured asked on Wednesday for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to work for his release.
“I request that you return me to Israel,” said Sayyaf Sharif Daoud in an interview with Al Arabiya. “It is very hard, this jail. It is very, very hard. This is my request and I know it is not hard for you to do. And by God I promise to not go back to how I used to be and to become a respectable person.”
His reasoning included a reference to the 2011 release of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit in a deal with Hamas, which received more than 1,000 prisoners in return.
“I am an Israeli citizen. I know you are the prime minister of a democratic state that does not differentiate between Jews and Arabs,” he said toward the end of the interview, switching from Arabic to Hebrew. “Many countries removed their citizens from here. Everyone knows what you did for one Israeli soldier.”
Daoud claimed that he had served ISIS as a medic who “founded a rescue team to help the injured from strikes.” He also said that he was “opposed to the slaughtering style” of the terrorist group.
During its years in power in swathes of Iraqi and Syrian territory, ISIS fighters killed thousands of ordinary citizens, dumping their bodies into mass graves, and posted online videos of members beheading dozens of “infidels.” Their mass rape and kidnapping of a few thousand Yazidi women as sex slaves was also well-documented.
This was the second time in a month that Daoud was interviewed and praised his home country in an effort to be freed. In a July 16 interview on BBC Arabic (UK) that was translated by MEMRI, he said that he had specifically joined ISIS rather than a Palestinian terrorist group because “Israel has not done one percent of what [Syrian President] Bashar Al-Assad has done. There was fighting and all that, but Israel has not raped women or stripped them naked on TV, and it has not killed with such barbarity.”
He even went so far as to say, “Israel is a democratic state…. We Arabs live together in Israel with the Jews. There is no injustice. We are treated just like the Jews.”
Although he has expressed regret over joining ISIS and insists he just wants to return to normal life, there is seemingly no chance that Israel would repatriate him. Other Israeli-Arab ISIS members who managed to return to Israel were arrested as soon as they were found by the security services.