An Arab with Israeli citizenship in his 50s was indicted at the Central District Court on Sunday and was charged with spying on the Jewish State for the Islamic Republic of Iran.
The indictment includes the offenses of maintaining contact with a foreign agent, disclosure of his decision to betray the country, delivering news to the enemy with an intent to harm state security, destroying evidence, money laundering and disrupting court proceedings.
The case was investigated by the Shin Bet security agency and the Police’s Lahav 433 unit.
According to the findings, the defendant, Ayman Haj Yihya from Taibe, in central Israel, maintained a secret line of contact via Facebook with a Lebanese citizen named Khaled Yamani and who connected him to two people who presented themselves as representatives of Iran’s security forces.
During the encounters, the defendant provided information with the intent to assist Iran in its efforts to harm the State of Israel, the indictment states.
As part of the meetings in Budapest, Hungary, Yihya and the Iranian agents agreed on a secret line of contact that will be established upon his return to Israel, using an encryption device.
It was agreed that the Yihya would assist the Iranians on several levels, including by expressing opinions on other potential recruits, providing information from Israel on additional issues, as well as on security activity against the State of Israel.
The Iranians transferred a sum of € 5,000 to the defendant for covering his travel expenses to Budapest, as well as for covering future expenses entailed with his espionage activities.
Upon his return to Israel, Yihya converted the money to Israeli shekels in Tulkarem in the Palestinian Authority, partly for the purpose of disguising the source of the funds.
Later, he tried to send messages to Iranians using the encryption device.
During his arrest, the defendant attempted to destroy a Disk-on-Key storage device, as well as to remove a hand-held storage device used to maintain the encrypted line with the Iranians.