Israeli doctor reported killed fighting for Islamic State

Barzilai Hospital says Othman Abdelkayan disappeared to Syria after he left to begin residency at Soroka Medical Center

Othman Abdelkayan, an intern who worked at the Barzilai Hospital and was reportedly killed fighting for the Islamic State group (photo credit: Barzilai Medical Center)
Othman Abdelkayan, an intern who worked at the Barzilai Hospital and was reportedly killed fighting for the Islamic State group (photo credit: Barzilai Medical Center)

An Israeli doctor left the country in May to join the Islamic State terror group in Syria, an Israeli hospital where he briefly worked said in a statement Sunday.

Othman Abdelkayan was slated to do a residency program at Soroka Medical Center in Beersheba starting in May, but disappeared, apparently to Syria, Barzilai Hospital in Ashkelon said.

“Security officials contacted and questioned us about him, and then we found out that he had joined the Islamic State,” the hospital said in a statement, according to several Israeli media reports.

Abdelkayan studied medicine in Jordan, and after he passed the certification test, he was granted a temporary license in Israel, according to Barzilai Hospital. He began an internship at Barzilai in February.

Abdelkayan’s family in the Bedouin Negev town of Hura said he was killed in fighting in Syria, according to several Israeli media reports.

The Shin Bet arrested Abdelkayan’s brother after he helped Abdelkayan and another person leave through Turkey to join the Islamic State in Syria, Channel 10 reported, citing security sources.

The Shin Bet internal security service and police believe that more than 30 Israeli Arabs have joined the Islamic State, also known by the acronyms IS, ISIS and ISIL. Last week, police confirmed that three Arab Israelis had joined the jihadist organization, which has taken control of large swaths of Iraq and Syria.

Ahmed Habashi (photo credit: Facebook)
Ahmed Habashi (photo credit: Facebook)

Earlier, Ahmed Habashi, 24, from the village of Iksal near Nazareth, was reported to have been killed fighting with the Islamic State, according to a report in Arabic weekly Al Arab. Habashi reportedly traveled to Turkey in January 2014 with four other Israeli Arabs, crossed into Syria and joined IS. He was killed near the Iraqi city of Ramadi, a battleground between the radical Islamist group and Iraqi government forces.

Also among those known to be fighting with the Islamic State was Rabiya Shahade, 26, an Israeli citizen from Nazareth, who joined the jihadist group about a year ago.

Shahade, who goes by the name Abu Musaav Alsafuri in Syria, was described in a Yedioth Ahronoth report from last month as having had Christian and Jewish friends before he became radicalized. He left behind in Israel a wife and newborn son.

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