Two men, one an Arab Israeli and the other from Gaza, were caught passing sensitive military information onto Hamas, according to the Shin Bet.
By World Israel News Staff
Two Hamas spies, one an Israeli citizen of Arab descent and the other a resident of the Gaza Strip, were caught in Israeli territory by Israel’s Shin Bet security agency and the Israeli police, according to a joint statement from the authorities on Thursday.
“The Shin Bet takes very seriously any direction of terrorist and espionage activity from the Gaza Strip and will continue to work together with Israel Police and the IDF in order to detect and thwart any hostile activity by these organizations in advance,” said the agency in a statement.
Hussein Biari, an Israeli citizen with close family ties to Gaza, and Gazan Mahmoud Ahmad, who held a trade permit allowing him to travel into Israel, were arrested in late November.
The media gag order on their case was lifted on Thursday morning.
According to the security agency, Ahmad had been recruited by Gaza-based terror group Hamas in 2019 and Biari was recruited in 2020.
The pair reportedly engaged in intelligence gathering missions throughout the Jewish State on behalf of Hamas, photographing and obtaining sensitive information about military bases, IDF soldiers, and Iron Dome battery locations.
Biari is also accused of inciting violence within Israel’s Arab communities during the May 2021 Operation Guardian of the Walls Israel – Gaza clash, and illegally obtaining and possessing weapons for use in a future terror attack.
Muhammad Khalawa, a leading figure in Hamas, was the handler directing their missions.
Biari and Ahmad reportedly met with Khalawa and other Hamas officials in Gaza to receive training, additional missions, and relay the intelligence they had gathered.
The Shin Bet said that Hamas is leveraging Gazans with border crossing permits and Israeli Arabs with ties to the Strip to further their goals, endangering families and civilians on both sides of the conflict.
The two suspects were formally indicted in Israeli court on Thursday, on security related counts that could land them decades in prison.