Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

ENCORE!

Cannes 2017: Nicole Kidman, Queen of the festival

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

Abdelamadjid is the new Algerian Tebboune Prime Minister

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Trump's Handshake Showdown

Read more

THE DEBATE

Trump at NATO: What future for the Atlantic Alliance? (part 2)

Read more

THE DEBATE

Trump at NATO: What future for the Atlantic Alliance? (part 1)

Read more

FOCUS

Life after IS group: Young Iraqis learn to live together in Kirkuk

Read more

ENCORE!

Cannes 2017: Robert Pattinson stars in Safdie brothers heist 'Good Time'

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Trump on 'learning curve' but poll numbers 'will go up'

Read more

INSIDE THE AMERICAS

Is Venezuela on the verge of anarchy?

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)