Israel: Australian citizen tried to spy for Hamas
According to Israeli media reports on Wednesday, Israeli security authorities charged an Australian citizen of belonging to Hamas and entering the country on a spy mission for the benefit of Hamas movement. Israel's Channel Two reported Tuesday night that the Australian man who also holds a Jordanian citizenship, was arrested when he entered Israel last month. According to Israeli sources, he received training in Syria, and then sent by Hamas to Israel in a spying mission.
The suspect was named as Iyad Abu Arja, aged 47. he is a computer specialist, who was recruited in Saudi Arabia.
According to the indictment, Abu Arja went to Tel Aviv, using his Australian passport on March 23, in order to test the security standards at Ben Gurion International Airport and collect information on advanced security technologies held by Israel.
A lawyer for Abu Arja denied the allegations, saying that he is touring the Middle East with his wife. The lawyers added that after being detained at the airport he made a false statement regarding his membership in Hamas.
The lawyer told Israel's Army Radio, he "was not an agent of Hamas. He did not try to sneak into Israel."
- The curious case of Prisoner X: Australia knew about Ben Zygier's arrest in 2010
- Gaza: Israel kills senior Hamas leader and 12 other Palestinians
- Gaza militants infiltrate south Israel, clash with soldiers
- Hamas fighters, Israeli soldiers clash and rockets fired despite declared truce
- Israel arrests chief Hamas activist, kills three others