by Yona Schnitzer
The Haifa District Court sentenced Wissam Zabida’at (43), a resident of the northern Israeli town of Sakhnin, to five and a half years in prison on Thursday after he was convicted of joining the Islamic State (ISIS) terrorist organization together with his wife and children.
Zabidaat was convicted of traveling to Iraq with his wife and three children in 2015 in order to join the militant group, and reportedly fought among their ranks in Mosul, while his wife, Sabrin worked in an ISIS-run hospital and cared for her children, who were at the time ages three, six and eight years old.
Throughout the court proceedings, Zabida’at insisted that he was dragged into and kept under the control of ISIS by his wife, who began serving a four and a half year prison sentence six months ago. However, the court did not accept this line of defense.
Zabida’at was charged with contact with a foreign agent, exiting the country illegally, membership in an illegal organization, and membership in a terror organization.
In addition to her four and a half year sentence, Sabrin was fined NIS 8,000.
“The defendant has identified with a terror organization,” Justice Avraham Elyakim said. “Considering the nature of these offenses and the considerable risk posed to national security when Israeli citizens choose to join the ranks of a terror organization abroad, I see fit to add a deterring aspect to the sentencing [in order to discourage others from acting in a similar matter].”
TPS and Yona Schnitzer contributed content to this article.