Israeli Arab Family That Joined ISIS in Syria Asks to Return to Israel

The family of five crossed into Syria over a year ago but recently fled back to Turkey, where they are being held by police.

A member of the Syrian pro-government forces carries an Islamic State (ISIS) group flag as he stands on a street in the ancient city of Palmyra on March 27, 2016.
AFP

A family of Israeli Arabs that joined the ranks of the Islamic State group over one year ago and are being held by Turkish police have asked to return to Israel.

Israeli embassy representatives in Turkey are of the family's request, but it was not immediately clear when or if the family, originally from Sakhnin in northern Israel, would be handed over to Israel.

The family, including a father, mother and their three children, traveled last June to Romania to visit the mother's brother who was studying in the country. They then disappeared for a time until their extended family was informed that they had gone to Turkey and crossed the border into Syria, suspectedly reaching an area controlled by ISIS.

Family members in Sakhnin who opposed the move and feared for the family's safety tried to convince them to return to Israel, while initiating communications to try and secure their return home. They reported the situation to the Foreign Ministry and Israeli security officials. 

According to one of the relatives, the parents and children decided to flee the deteriorating conditions in Syria due to increased fighting and subsequent losses by ISIS.

They crossed the border back to Turkey where one of them was waiting to guide them through their return to Israel, but they were arrested by Turkish police.