A resident of Majdal Shams
has been indicted for crossing the border into Syria
and handing over information to Syrian intelligence, it has been cleared for publication Friday.
Rafat Halabi, 28, is being charged with contacting a foreign agent and relaying information to the enemy. His friend, Mohammed Rumiyeh, 24, is being charged with helping him cross the border.
Halabi is one of several Majdal Shams residents who have been charged with security offences since the Syrian civil war began. The border village is home to 10,000 residents, some of whom have relatives in the neighboring country.
According to the indictment, Halabi crossed the border where work on the border fence has yet to be completed. He arrived at a house of acquaintances in the village of Khader and was turned over for questioning with Syrian intelligence.
He was asked by investigators to give information on the area where he crossed the border and about Assad
dissidents in Majdal Shams. According to the indictment, he handed over the names and pictures of dissidents as well as of a doctor who was rumored to have treated wounded Syrians in Israel.
He also provided details on the new border fence, IDF
patrols in the area and hidden military posts in Majdal Shams. Halabi met with a Syrian spy recruiter and provided him with information on army movement on the Syrian border, Israel's field hospital in Quneitra and of Druze doctors.
Another indictment filed against him claimed that Halabi helped Syrians infiltrate Israel
during the Naksa Day events in 2011.
The investigation into Halabi's activities was launched after his family reported him missing last September. The Shin Bet and police investigators discovered he had crossed the border into Syria with the help of a friend and had met with Syrian elements who tried to recruit him as an agent. He was arrested upon his return to Israel in November.
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