Hamas spy was aspiring Shin Bet double agent – report

Thaber Mahmoud Abu Thabat was initially approached by Shin Bet agent after crossing into Israel to work; he immediately told Hamas, who urged him to contact the man and report the Shin Bet’s techniques back to the terror group.

By World Israel News Staff

A Gazan man with permit to legally work in Israel who was arrested last month for attempting to spy on behalf of Hamas was planning on double-crossing the Shin Bet intelligence agency.

The man was pretending to be willing to feed intelligence to the Shin Bet while detailing their strategies to the terror group, Ynet reported.

Tweenty-eight-year-old Thaber Mahmoud Yosef Abu Thabat was arrested in early November for attempting to enter Israel in order to gather intelligence and “carry out missions” for Hamas, the Shin Bet said in a statement. A gag order barring the media from reporting on the arrest was lifted last Thursday.

A Ynet report on Sunday elaborated further on the circumstances around Abu Thabat’s arrest, revealing that he had been approached by an Israeli security agency after crossing the border to work in Israel.

An Israeli Shin Bet handler reportedly gave him 500 shekels ($146) and told Abu Thabat to use the money to purchase a mobile phone, so that the pair could clandestinely communicate.

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Abu Thabat initially agreed to the proposition, but then changed his mind and called the man the next day to decline. He offered to return the money and the agent said it was unnecessary.

When Abu Thabat returned to Gaza, he immediately reported his interaction with the Israeli security agent to a supervisor at a Hamas-controlled checkpoint.

He was then redirected to a senior official within Hamas’ internal security apparatus, who suggested that Abu Thabat contact the Israeli, pretend to agree to the proposition, and then report back to Hamas.

Hamas officials were interested in using AbuThabat to understand the Shin Bet’s methodology for recruiting spies within Gaza and to learn

According to the Ynet report, Abu Thabat reached out to the Shin Bet agent and proposed that they resume contact. For reasons unclear in the report, the Israeli agent became suspicious of Abu Thabat and asked him to photograph a Hamas compound in Gaza as proof of his sincerity.

Abu Thabat did so, after first clearing the mission with his Hamas handlers, who in turn asked him to photograph and film a hotel in Tel Aviv which they suspected had either intelligence or military value.

He was then arrested after reentering Israel, before he could complete his mission.

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“As part of his interrogation, and due to his activity in Hamas and the knowledge he was exposed to, a vast amount of information was obtained about the operating methods of Hamas’s intelligence mechanisms, including the identity of operators, locations of tunnels, weapon stockpiles, and military locations from which the organization operates,” the Shin Bet said in a statement last Thursday.

“The Shin Bet views any direction of terrorist activity and espionage from the Gaza Strip with great severity, and will continue to work together with the Israel Police and the IDF in order to locate and thwart in advance any hostile activity by all parties operating on behalf of Hamas,” the agency said in a statement.