Shin Bet arrests Hamas spy from Gaza, had Israeli work permit

Security officials stressed that Abu Thabat fully intended to “gather intelligence and carry out missions in Israel” and that he had not been duped or threatened into spying.

By World Israel News Staff

A Gazan man who had a permit to legally work in Israel was arrested by the Shin Bet intelligence agency for spying on behalf of the Hamas terror group.

The man, named in a statement by the Shin Bet as 28-year-old Thaber Mahmoud Yosef Abu Thabat, was arrested in early November. A gag order barring the media from reporting on the arrest was lifted on Thursday.

After being granted an Israeli work permit, Abu Thabat was reportedly recruited by Hamas and met with handlers from the terror group multiple times before crossing the border into Israel.

Security officials stressed that Abu Thabat fully intended to “gather intelligence and carry out missions in Israel” and that he had not been duped or threatened into spying.

“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.

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“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.

In late October, another Gazan man with a permit to work in Israel was arrested by the Shin Bet agency for planning to bomb a bus in southern Israel.

The man was reportedly recruited by Palestinian Islamic Jihad and handlers from the terror group taught him how to assemble an explosive device.

The Shin Bet said it seized bomb-making materials from the man’s residence when he was arrested.