Three northern Israel men were indicted on Thursday for handing over sensitive information to Hamas and plotting to sabotage communications infrastructure used by the IDF in times of conflict.
According to the indictment bill, one of the suspects, who works as a software engineer for telecommunications giant Cellcom and was identified only by his intials R.A, has met with Hamas operatives in Turkey on several occasions between 2017 and 2022 and shared with them sensitive information he was made privy to as part of his work at the company.
R.A, who has been working for Cellcom since 2004, possessed broad access privileges to computer and information systems in the company he planned to use to allow the Palestinian terror outfit to compromise in case of a conflict breaking out with Israel.
He was arrested by the Shin Bet internal security agency last month alongside his brother and another external advisor with the company — identified as Z.A and S.A, respectively, and all three men were slapped with a flurry of national security charges.
According to the indictment, S.A. began working with Cellcom in 2017 as an external advisor on issues of communication and computer networks and provided R.A with information about the company’s information security systems and various ways to bypass them, knowing full well “R.A intended to pass on the pertinent information to Hamas operatives in Turkey.”
The indictment states that R.A and S.A have been discussing among themselves disabling or disrupting various components of Cellcom's infrastructure during war or military operations since 2015 “out of their common desire to help the armed Palestinian struggle against Israel.”
R.A's brother, Z.A, is charged with making contact with Hamas operatives abroad at least three times to pass on messages from his brother.
“The actions of the defendants endangered national security in a very tangible and grave manner. Their arrest and interrogation by Israel Police and the Shin Bet led to the thwarting of Hamas' efforts to gather even more extensive information and damage communications infrastructure in Israel,” the two law enforcement agencies said in a joint statement.
“Terrorist organizations, including Hamas, are constantly trying to harm the integration of Israeli Arabs into Israeli society and to harm them by exploiting their position in favor of promoting terrorist activity while Hamas leaders continue, unhindered, with their daily lives abroad.
The Shin Bet and Israel Police will continue to work to locate and thwart all terrorist activities against Israeli citizens and will work to bring to justice those who took part in said activities that constitute a violation of state security."
Attorney Namir Adalbi, who represents R.A, said that the charges “seem blown out of proportion” and that his client was pressed by his interrogators to confess to things he did not do in a “long and tedious investigation in which he was prevented from seeing a lawyer for 21 days.”
The State Prosecutor's Office has requested to keep the three in custody until the end of proceedings.