On Thursday, three northern Israeli citizens were accused of spying for Hamas and collecting data from Israel’s Cellcom cellular network, among other serious security breaches.
According to a joint statement from the Israel Police, state prosecutors, and the Israel Security Agency, the prosecution’s Cyber Division accused the defendants in the Central District Magistrate’s Court in Rishon Lezion of providing significant amounts of sensitive information to Hamas terrorists in Turkey and creating a severe cyber threat to the Cellcom company as part of preparations for a future military escalation (Shin Bet).
The charge sheet stated that the defendant met with local Hamas members in 2017 while residing in Turkey “because of an ideological affinity with the Hamas terror organization and its objectives.”
The meeting was organized by an Israeli citizen who works for Hamas and resides in Turkey and Lebanon.
The defendant is accused of providing critical, non-public information on Israeli communication infrastructure that he acquired through his work at Hamas’ request.
According to the accusation, he again met with Hamas in Turkey in 2021 and 2022, including with Bazam Akara, a prominent member of the organization’s military wing.
Salah al-Arouri, the deputy political bureau chairman of Hamas, is referred to as “the commander of the West Bank sector” because of his involvement in coordinating terror cells in Judea and Samaria, who oversaw the activities.
While this was happening, the software engineer’s brother, who was also charged in the case, allegedly kept in touch with senior Hamas figures, relaying information and making attempts to assist his brother in maintaining secure communications with the terrorist organization away from Israeli intelligence surveillance.
A third defendant, who is also unnamed, reportedly provided knowledge to the first defendant on Cellcom’s information security measures and methods for getting around them while serving as an outside consultant for the company on communications and computing networks.
The material was transferred with full knowledge that it would end up with Hamas in Turkey, according to the charge sheet, and that would enable external intrusion into the company’s computer systems.
“Terrorist groups, such as Hamas, are constantly attempting to hinder the integration of Arab Israelis in Israeli society and to hurt them by using their position to support terror actions. This is happening as senior Hamas members go about their daily lives unhindered in various foreign places, according to a statement from the Israeli security forces.