VANCOUVER – A spokesman for Israel’s embassy in ottawa was unable to confirm monday whether Gill rosenberg, an Israeli-Canadian woman raised in White rock, has been captured by ISIS extremists after joining Kurdish fighters in Syria.
“We haven’t got any concrete information that we can share. Everything is still … speculation,” said Eitan Weiss, spokesman for the Israeli embassy. “Both of our governments are anxiously investigating this situation, trying to find out exactly what happened.”
rosenberg has attracted a following since she claimed on social media to have joined the Kurdish People’s Protection Units, an attack force known for being one of the few that encourage women to fight. rosenberg, 31, is believed to be one of a few western females to have joined the fight.
Several people commenting on rosenberg’s facebook page Sunday night said she is safe, including someone called Kader Kadandir, who is affiliated with the People’s Protection Units and who said news of rosenberg’s capture “is a huge lie. She is in rojava and safe.”
Kadandir posted photos of a woman resembling Gill rosenberg, but there was no indication when the photos were taken.
on Saturday, a pro-Islamic-State contributor posted to an online forum that fighters in Kobani had captured a “female Zionist soldier,” according to the SITE Intelligence Group, and Jihadi sympathizers suggested the captive might be rosenberg.
By Sunday, posters on other Islamist forums were reporting her capture as fact.
Several Israeli media picked up on the account, but so far no confirmation has been provided.
The Department of foreign Affairs said it was following up on the reports about rosenberg. A spokesperson said that Canada “is pursuing all appropriate channels to seek further information and officials are in close contact with local authorities.”
A childhood friend of rosenberg’s says she was a funny kid with a serious side, declaring at the age of 12 that she wanted to fight for Israel. Israeli media say she moved there in 2006 and joined the Israeli military.
Alex Konyves said he grew up with rosenberg in White rock and attended Hebrew school with her beginning at age five. He was alarmed to hear that she may have been captured in Syria.
“I have trouble wrapping my head around that. We live in beautiful British Columbia, where everything is safe and lovely. I pray that she’s oK and that these rumours are completely false, and that she’ll be back in a safe place as soon as possible,” he said.
“We hung out every Sunday,” Konyves said. “It’s always nice to have someone to crack jokes with in that setting, and she was definitely one of those people.”