Israeli court determines: Woman who joined ISIS will not be allowed to wear niqab in court

The Haifa District Court determined that a defendant who is accused of joining the ranks of ISIS together with her family will not be allowed to appear before the court while her face is veiled with a niqab.
The defendants Photo Credit: Channel 2 News

Two weeks ago, an indictment was filed against Wissam and Sabrin Zbeidat from Sakhnin after the two set out to Syria with their three children and joined ISIS. Today (Thursday) the Haifa District Court determined that Sabrin would not be allowed to appear before the court wearing a niqab (the traditional Islamic clothing that covers a woman’s face). “It has been made clear to the defendant that the hearings in the courtroom will be not be held with a veiled face,” the judge wrote in his decision.

While the couple and their children were away, Wissam fought amongst the ranks of ISIS in Mosul and his wife Sabrin worked at the hospital in the city. Meanwhile, the children, aged 3, 6 and 8, studied at a local school. The couple is being accused of contacts with a foreign agent, illegally exiting the country, membership in an illegal organization, forbidden military training and providing services for an illegal organization. “I decided to return to Israel of my own accord but that doesn’t mean I regret what I did,” the defendant stated in court.

The couple upon reaching Turkey Photo Credit: Channel 2 News

In June 2015 it was discovered that the five family members had left the country to Romania in order to attend the graduation ceremony of Sabrin’s brother, who had just finished medical school. The couple’s investigation revealed that they had planned in advance to continue from Romania to Turkey and then cross the border into Syria in order to join the ranks of ISIS. Four months ago, due to the dire situation in Mosul, the couple decided to return to Israel.

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