Israel Indicts Palestinian From Jerusalem for Spying for Hezbollah

The suspect allegedly began operating on behalf of Hezbollah nine years ago and broke off relations after a few years. He was arrested after attempting to renew ties with the group during his honeymoon in Turkey

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Illustrative: an arrest
Illustrative: an arrestCredit: Olivier Fitoussi
Nir Hasson
Nir Hasson

Israel's attorney general on Friday indicted a Palestinian man from Jerusalem for attempting to aid Hezbollah for the purpose of harming Israeli national security. He is charged with contacting a foreign agent, delivering information to an enemy with the intent of harming national security and leaving the country illegally.

According to the indictment, 32-year-old Ahmad Zahara's connection with Hezbollah began nine years ago, when he contacted a former prisoner who lived in Lebanon and told him he was interested in working for the organization from Israel.

During a trip to Turkey, Zahara received a mobile device with software that was encrypted on it which enabled him to be in touch with his handlers while he was back in Israel. Zahara allegedly provided his Hezbollah handlers with information on the security situation in Jerusalem and the West Bank and photographed a site with satellite dishes with the intent to send the materials to members of the organization.

Zahara has often travelled to Ramallah to use the encryption program without being exposed by the Israeli security forces, and has also visited Lebanon. He was asked to carry out a number of missions – including reporting on the security situation in Jerusalem and the West Bank, as well as on riots that happened in the capital.

His link with Hezbollah was broken off after a few years – and was renewed in the past year. In November, during his honeymoon in Turkey, Zahara coordinated a meeting with his handlers in which he received 1,000 euros and a cellphone with encryption software. He used the software after he returned to Israel and contacted Hezbollah – and was then arrested by the Israeli authorities, which designate Hezbollah as a terrorist group.

Prosecutors asked the court to keep Zahara in custody until the end of the legal proceedings against him.

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