An Israeli Arab caused quite a panic Saturday evening when he crossed the Golan Heights border into Syria using a hang glider, the IDF revealed in a statement Sunday morning.
The 23-year-old man, from the central Israeli town of Jaljulya, crossed the border with the intention of joining an al-Qaeda affiliated terror group.
The IDF mobilized large forces along the border after a military lookout spotted the hang glider crossing from Israel and landing inside Syria.
Following the cross border incident, the army conducted a military sweep of the Golan Heights, using UAV’s and aircraft to determine the identity of the hang glider and whether he was a soldier.
“During the night some operations were taken and the Shin Bet security service is leading the investigation,” said IDF spokesman Moti Almoz on Sunday. “If the story checks out, we will need to decide what to do further, but from a military perspective this is no longer considered a situation.”
Almoz failed to confirm which Syrian rebel group the hang glider joined. According to Ynet, the man landed in an area controlled by the Shuada al Yarmoug jihadist group. The terror organization has pledged allegiance to ISIS and has been fighting the Nusra Front.
The Golan Heights is a popular hang gliding destination in Israel due to its mountainous region. According to Almoz, the army has yet to discover from where the hang glider took off. “We did not see where he took off from but usually people glide from Mevo Hama,” he stated, indicating a community in the southern Golan Heights.
“We don’t know whether anyone was waiting to receive him on the other side, but we assume that someone gliding against the direction other people glide does so on purpose,” Almoz said.