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Israeli Arab, Gazan Arrested for Spying in Israel for Hamas
Iron Dome aerial defense system, seen here in Ashdod, Israel, intercepts a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip, Nov. 16, 2012. (Israel Defense Forces)

Israeli Arab, Gazan Arrested for Spying in Israel for Hamas

An Israeli Arab citizen with family in the Gaza Strip and a resident of the Gaza Strip with a commercial permit to enter Israel were arrested last month on suspicion of spying on Israel, including its Iron Dome missile defense system, for Hamas, the Shin Bet security agency announced on Thursday. They were first detained for questioning on November 29, the Shin Bet said in a statement.

According to an investigation by the security agency, the two men, Israeli citizen Hasin Biari, 30, and Gaza resident Mahmoud Ahmed, 33, were recruited by a Hamas espionage and terrorist cell in the Gaza Strip that operates agents inside Israel under the direction of Gaza-based terrorists. The agency statement said that the two met with their Hamas handlers while they were in the Gaza Strip in order to receive their missions. Later, they were in continuous covert-operational contact with their handlers.

Ahmed was recruited to the espionage infrastructure in 2019 and under its aegis, he collected information on Iron Dome systems throughout the country and secretly photographed IDF soldiers at the Central Bus Station in Ashkelon, the investigation found, according to the Shin Bet. Biari was recruited to the espionage infrastructure in the past year and gathered information on military bases, IDF soldiers and Iron Dome systems throughout the country. He was also requested by Hamas to incite the Arab population in Israel against the state, acquire weaponry and carry out a terrorist attack on Israeli territory, the Shin Bet said.

Both men were indicted on Thursday – Biari in Lod District Court and Ahmed in Beersheba District Court. The discovery of the espionage directed from Gaza “underscores how Hamas exploits commercial permits for terrorist activity,” the Shin Bet said in a statement.

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