Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

No strategy and a beige suit

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 29 August 2014 (part 2)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 29 August 2014

Read more

ENCORE!

Alain Choquette: A Hilarious Magician in Paris

Read more

FOCUS

France welcomes Iraqi Christian refugees

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Emmanuel Macron: A new economy minister with a pro-business agenda

Read more

THE OBSERVERS

More of this year's best Observers stories

Read more

#TECH 24

Changing the world, one video game at a time

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Socialist Party summer conference kicks off in explosive atmosphere

Read more

  • Exclusive: Fabius warns of further sanctions against Russia

    Read more

  • Experimental Ebola drug ‘ZMapp’ heals all monkeys in study

    Read more

  • IMF stands behind Lagarde amid French corruption probe

    Read more

  • Ukraine to relaunch NATO membership bid

    Read more

  • Suriname leader’s son pleads guilty to courting Hezbollah

    Read more

  • British killer escapes from French psychiatric hospital

    Read more

  • Chelsea’s Torres set for AC Milan switch

    Read more

  • Police hunt for British boy with brain tumour taken to France

    Read more

  • France shines in IMF list of world’s promising economists

    Read more

  • Mapping Ukraine: Canada and Russia in ‘tweet for tat’ row

    Read more

  • First case of Ebola confirmed in Senegal

    Read more

  • Obama has 'no strategy yet' on potential Syria strikes

    Read more

  • Netflix to woo French with ‘House of Cards’ set in Marseille

    Read more

  • French businesses ‘hoping for a new Thatcher’

    Read more

  • Syrian refugees surpass 3 million, UN says

    Read more

  • West backs Ukrainian claims of Russian incursion

    Read more

  • Libyan PM resigns as Islamists set up rival administration

    Read more

  • UN says 43 peacekeepers captured in Golan Heights

    Read more

  • The deleted tweets of Manuel Valls

    Read more

  • Peru seizes record 6.5 tonnes of Europe-bound cocaine

    Read more

Middle east

Khattab, an Arab-Israeli jihadist in Syria

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2013-10-06

Khattab is one of the few Arab Israelis fighting beside rebels who oppose Assad's regime in Syria. FRANCE 24 talked to him about his decision to leave a home and job in Israel to “perform his duty of jihad” despite his lack of military training.

Islamists from all corners of the globe have joined the jihadist rebel groups fighting against President Bashar al Assad in Syria. But, unlike many of the others, Khattab is not Saudi, Tunisian or Iraqi.

He is an Arab Israeli (a Palestinian with an Israeli passport), who told FRANCE 24 that he decided to “perform his duty of jihad in Syria” despite a lack of military skill or experience.

Khattab says he decided to take action because he was revolted by what he called “the inaction of the international community, while Syrians have been massacred for more than two years”. He was moved by “the images repeatedly broadcast on news channels”.

The twenty-year-old recently left his home in the northern Israeli city of Haifa and his job as a mechanical engineer (for which he frequently travelled to the UK) “after having established contact with certain people in Syria via social networking sites”.

Arriving first in Turkey, Khattab was picked up at the Syrian border and taken to the city of Aazaz and then toward the north-western Latakia region.

Today Khattab is fighting with the al Nusra Front, a group affiliated with al Qaeda and considered a terrorist organisation by the UN. He is preparing to go to the former rebel stronghold of Homs after having already fought in battles in the Hama region.

Though it is extremely rare to stumble upon jihadis who hold an Israeli passport in Syria, Khattab says he has met a few in the north, near Latakia and Idlib.

One of them, Muayyed Zaki Jumaa Ighbariya, an Arab Israeli who, like Khattab, is a member of the al Nusra front, was killed in fighting in September. He is thought to have been the first Israeli citizen to die in the Syrian conflict.
 

Date created : 2013-10-06

  • SYRIA

    UN begins destroying Syrian chemical weapons

    Read more

  • SYRIA - UK

    UK refuses group entry to France's Syrian refugees

    Read more

  • SYRIA

    Syrian rebel factions tell al Qaeda groups to withdraw

    Read more

COMMENT(S)