Israel arrested and charged two men on suspicion of spying for the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas, the Shin Bet domestic intelligence agency announced on Thursday.
The suspects — Hussein Biyari, 30, a resident of Jaffa who has family in the Gaza Strip and Mohammad Ahmad, 33, a resident of the Palestinian enclave in Israel on a work permit — were both detained in a joint operation by Israel Police and Shin Bet and taken in for questioning on November 29.
The investigation revealed that the pair were recruited by a Gaza-based Hamas espionage ring. According to investigators' findings, the two met with their operators in Gaza to learn of their mission and maintained continual contact with them throughout their operations.
Mohammad Ahmad's investigation revealed that he was recruited by the spy network back in 2019 and has since then performed various reconnaissance tasks including mapping out the locations of Iron Dome air defense system batteries throughout the country as well as secretly photographing Israeli soldiers at Ashkelon Central Station in southern Israel.
The investigation also shows that Biyari, who was recruited by Hamas during a visit to Gaza, used to disguise himself as a food delivery worker and collect intelligence about Israeli military bases, soldiers and Iron Dome batteries across the country.
In addition, Biyari was asked by Hamas to incite the Arab population in Israel against the state, obtain weapons and carry out a terrorist attack on Israeli soil.
The Shin Bet said in a statement that the pair's arrest was another testament to Hamas using work permits issued to the territory's laborers to promote terrorist activity in Israel and endanger their families in Israel and the Gaza Strip.
The State Prosecutor's Office on Thursday has filed an indictment against Biyari in the Lod District Court and against Ahmad in the Beer Sheba District Court on serious national security offenses.