By Jim Kouri
An Israeli-Arab citizen living in Jerusalem was officially indicted Sunday morning on suspicion of passing information about strategic locations within Israel to agents of the Lebanese-based, terrorist group Hezbollah, according to an Israeli police source.
Azam Mash’hara, a resident of the east Jerusalem Arab village Jabel Mukaber, allegedly passed material about the Knesset (Israeli parliament) building, as well as the Hebrew University campus, government buildings and the city’s hospitals to the Lebanese terrorist group, long recognized as a proxy for the Iranian military.
Mash’hara was officially indicted in the Jerusalem District Court for contacting an enemy agent, handing out information to the enemy and visiting an enemy nation without government permission.
The Israeli National Police had arrested the suspect a month ago and information regarding the alleged espionage affair was released for publication on Sunday, as a gag order regarding its details was rescinded by a judge from the Jerusalem District Court.
The 37-year old bus driver admitted during interrogation that he was “drafted” into Hezbollah during a visit to Lebanon in June and that he gave out information about several strategic locations within the Jewish State.
According to the Law Enforcement Examiner’s Israeli source, members of the Iran-backed Hezbollah met with Mash’hara just prior to his return trip home to Israel. The confidential source said that Hezbollah encouraged Mash’hara to contact them on the Internet.
“The Mash’hara case is another example to the Hezbollah’s attempts of recruiting Israeli agents, or those who have Israeli ID cards, for espionage services,” the Shin Bet said in its statement.
There are about 300,000 Israeli Arabs living in territories in east Jerusalem which Israel annexed after the 1967 war, belonging to the Jerusalem municipality. They are entitled to an Israeli ID as citizens in those areas but cannot vote in the Israeli elections.
Last month, a 26-year old truck driver from northern Israel was charged for espionage for Hezbollah and was indicted for conspiring to aid the enemy and joining an illegal group.
On Oct. 14, 2012, a Hezbollah drone that was shot down over southern Israel was believed to have been transmitting photographs of preparations for Israel’s joint military exercise with the United States Army called the Austere Challenge 12.