A former ISIS soldier says he now believes Israel is a democratic state and wants to return to the country.
According to CBN News, Sayyaf Sharif Daoud left Israel to become a fighter for the Islamic State. According to MEMRI, he was later captured and told BBC correspondent Feras Kilani on BBC Arabic that he wants to return to his home.
The former ISIS fighter noted that he changed his mind about ISIS after seeing the injustices carried out by the group.
"I lived through the Second Intifada. I have seen war. I lived in the West Bank and in Israel. Israel has not done one percent of what Bashar Al-Assad has done. There was fighting and all that, but Israel has not raped women or stripped them naked on TV, and it has not killed with such barbarity," Daoud said.
Israel, he noted, was completely different from ISIS. "Israel is a democratic state,” he said. “I have not seen injustice there. Us Arabs live together in Israel with the Jews. There is no injustice. We are treated just like the Jews."
When asked by a reporter if his “religious fervor” drove him to join ISIS – Daoud is Muslim – he quickly responded “no.”
"My father warned me against [joining] Hamas and Fatah," he told the BBC.
Daoud – who labels himself as both Israeli and Palestinian – admitted that he was wrong to join ISIS. He told reporters that while he does not know what the future holds for him, he is hopeful that Israel will take him back.
"By Allah, I have wronged myself. I hope that the state takes me back and that I can return...A person can rethink things and return to normal life," he told MEMRI.
At the time of this writing, it’s unclear if Israel will allow Daoud to return.
Watch Daoud’s interview here.
Photo courtesy: Cole Keister/Unsplash