JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sent his condolences to President Obama on the death of human rights activist Kayla Mueller, an American citizen who was a captive of ISIS.
Mueller’s family and the White House confirmed Tuesday that she was killed in a Jordanian airstrike on Islamic State positions in Syria.
Mueller, 26, of Arizona, was abducted in August 2013 from the northern Syrian city of Aleppo with personnel from Spanish Doctors Without Borders.
“Kayla dedicated her life to helping others in need at home and around the world,” Obama said in a statement released by the White House. “In Prescott, Arizona, she volunteered at a women’s shelter and worked at an HIV/AIDS clinic. She worked with humanitarian organizations in India, Israel, and the Palestinian territories, compelled by her desire to serve others.”
Netanyahu wrote to Obama, “On behalf of the people of Israel, I wish to send condolences to President Obama, the American people and the family of Kayla Mueller. We stand with you.”
The pro-Palestinian International Solidarity Movement reported that Mueller attended weekly protests against Israel’s security fence in the Palestinian village of Bi’lin and stayed with a family in an eastern Jerusalem neighborhood to prevent the takeover of their home by Israeli forces. She also stayed with Palestinian families in a West Bank village to prevent the demolition of their homes and walked with Palestinian children to school in Hebron to protect them from attacks by Jewish settlers.
Mueller worked in France as an au pair to learn the language and then went to the Turkey-Syria border to help refugees beginning in December 2012.