Paraglider
An Israeli paraglider (not the one pictured) flew into Syria where it is claimed he wants to join the Islamic StateReuters/Arben Celi

A man used a paraglider to fly from Israel into neighbouring Syria where it is claimed he planned to join Islamic State (Isis) militants. Using only wind power, the man who has not been named, floated over the fortified Golan Heights which Israel captured and has administered since 1967's Six-Day War, although it is internationally recognised as Syrian territory.

Israeli military aircraft dropped illumination flares in the area before calling off the searches on Sunday (25 October). Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the man's citizenship would be revoked as part of a wider policy against militants.

"Whoever joins the enemy's ranks to fight Israel will not be an Israeli citizen," Netanyahu said at the start of his regular Sunday cabinet meeting.

Another minister from his rightist Likud party, Ofir Akunis, told reporters that the Israeli Arab had "crossed to the border into Syria ... to join Isis forces".

While it was initially feared winds may have blown the man off course, Israel Defense Forces said on Twitter that the investigation suggested he "crossed intentionally."

Describing him as an Arab citizen, they said he hailed from the predominantly Muslim town of Jaljulia, a small community around 40 miles north of Jerusalem. Israeli media gave his age as 23.

"We don't know if someone was waiting for him on the other side," Moti Almoz, an Israeli military spokesman, told the Hebrew-language newspaper Yediot Ahronot. "We are working under the assumption that anyone who glides against the wind's direction has planned to do so."

A Syrian rebel whose group operates in the area told Reuters that the paraglider had come down either in Quneitra province or western Deraa. The region is home to a number of factions including the Southern Front alliance which is affiliated with the Free Syrian Army and the al Qaeda-linked Nusra Front. A group called the Yarmouk Martyrs Brigade, which other rebels believe is affiliated with Islamic State, are also known to operate in the area.

Israel officially maintains a neutral stance on the Syrian conflict although it has banned its citizens from travelling there. However, a small number of Israeli Arab citizens are understood to have gone to fight in Syria nonetheless, although this would the first time one had arrived by paraglider.