ISIS claims it executed “Israeli spy” refuted


ISIS yesterday released a video depicting the execution of a 19-year-old Arab citizen of Israel from East Jerusalem. The Islamist terror group’s claim that he was a spy for Israel’s Mossad intelligence agency was rejected by the man’s family and Israeli officials.

It was revealed last month by ISIS in one of the group’s English language publications that Muhammed Musallam was in their hands and that they accused him of being a Mossad spy. However, it wasn’t until yesterday that it was confirmed Musallam was dead. The video released by ISIS shows Musallam’s alleged confession, before he is led outside and shot in the head, apparently by a young boy, described by an older ISIS member as a “cub of the caliphate.”

Musallam had lived with his family in East Jerusalem and had completed twelve years of schooling. His family said that he had volunteered in Israel’s firefighting service. However, his family says that he left home four months ago without telling them and headed for Syria, via Turkey with the intention of joining ISIS. According to YNet, Musallam quickly became disillusioned and contacted his family saying he wished to return home. He was apparently stopped at an ISIS checkpoint near the Turkish border and subsequently detained.

Although there has been no official statement on Musallam’s death by Israeli officials, an anonymous official told Reuters when he was captured that Musallam “went on his own initiative, without his family’s knowledge.” Asked whether the statement constituted a denial that Musallam was an Israeli spy, the official added “You can understand it that way, yes.” Israeli intelligence has detected small pockets of support for ISIS among West Bank Palestinians and Arab citizens of Israel, with at least one group arrested.

Also yesterday, an IDF officer on the Golan Heights was lightly wounded by gunfire from across the Syrian border. Although the IDF did not return fire, the attack is thought to have been deliberate. Several Islamist groups are active on the Syrian side of the border, and two Israeli soldiers were killed by Hezbollah fire from Syria in January.