A 21-year-old Israeli Jew has been under arrest since June 2015 in an Arab country with which Israel has no diplomatic relations. Ben Hassin, who is originally from Canada but resided in Tel Aviv, has been charged with murder, a crime punishable by death in the country where he's being held. These details, initially uncovered by Israel's Deputy Minister for Regional Cooperation Ayoub Kara (Likud), have only now been cleared for publication.
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Kara told Haaretz Tuesday: “After he was in prison for a year and a half, and when they were going to execute him, his father contacted me and I was able to prevent the execution – on condition that a ransom of $120,000 is paid. I requested that the censor [in Israel] allow the story to be publicized in order to raise the money to save him.”
Hassin's family, which is in contact with the Israeli Foreign Ministry, is trying to raise that sum in the hopes of striking an agreement that could lead to his release.
Kara, who in November first revealed that he was in contact with Ilan Hassin, Ben's father, explained in a filmed statement that the young man had ostensibly traveled to the country in question to visit his grandparents, who live there, but while there joined forces fighting against Islamic State, or ISIS.
While Hassin was taking a break from the fighting, a driver who was transporting him discovered that he was Israeli and tried to kill him, but Hassin apparently shot and killed him first.
The young Israeli is still awaiting the results of his trial, and various efforts are being made to secure his release.
In his statement, Kara said: “I decided to publicize this story because the responsibility [for doing so] weighs on my conscience. I am concerned about this matter and so I have brought the story out, and we are starting to fight on every front [to free Hassin]. It’s been a year and a half I will not let this happen, and I am using every connection.”