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Israeli Arab 'uses paraglider to infiltrate Syria'

Published 25/10/2015

A man apparently used a paraglider to cross from Israel to Syria
A man apparently used a paraglider to cross from Israel to Syria

An Arab citizen of Israel used a paraglider to fly into neighbouring Syria, the Israeli military said, in what appeared to be an intentional attempt to join a rebel group.

Military officials said the 23-year-old from an Arab town in Israel planned the manoeuvre with the intent of joining Syrian rebel fighters.

Dozens of Arab citizens of Israel have sneaked into Syria in recent years to join the civil war. This would appear to be the first case of someone doing so by air.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told his Cabinet that he would work to revoke the man's citizenship.

"Whoever joins the enemy's ranks to fight Israel will not be an Israeli citizen," Mr Netanyahu said.

Initially, there was concern that an Israeli citizen had been accidentally swept into Syria by the winds and captured by one of the rebel groups there.

Such a scenario would have put Israel in a dire situation of having to reclaim a hostage. Israeli forces launched a search for the man late on Saturday.

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