$120,000 raised to ransom Israeli-Canadian citizen held in unnamed Arab country

(JTA) – A public campaign raised $120,000 to pay the ransom for a dual citizen of Israel and Canada imprisoned in an unnamed Arab country.

The Jewish man, Ben Hassin, 21, has been under arrest since June 2015 in the Arab country for the murder of a taxi driver, who he shot in self-defense, according to reports citing Hassin’s father, Ilan, of Tel Aviv.

Most of the money was raised by the Zaka search and rescue organization via a crowdfunding appeal. Zaka announced Wednesday that $100,000 had already been raised by 200 people in 24 hours. By Thursday afternoon the appeal on the Chesed Fund website had been closed.

On Thursday, Israel’s deputy minister for regional co-operation, Ayoub Kara of the Likud party, announced on Twitter that the sentencing of Hassin has been pushed off by two weeks to allow the transfer of the ransom.

Hassin is the son of an Israeli father and a mother who has lived in Canada for 30 years.

Ilan Hassin told the local media on Tuesday that his son went to visit his grandparents in the Arab country and while there decided to enlist in the fight against ISIS with a local militia. The killing of the cabbie – Ilan Hassin said the driver threatened to kill his son for being Jewish and Israeli – occurred when Hassin was on a furlough. The father also said his son told him he has been tortured in prison.

Kara learned about Hassin’s plight in November and recently had convinced officials in the unnamed country to delay sentencing Hassin – likely to death or life in prison – in order to raise the ransom, which is paid as blood money to the family of the dead man. In order to raise the money, the military censor gave permission to Kara to publicize the man’s plight.

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