Riots in Majdal Shams, Sunday
Photo: Avihu Shapira
Suspect's father, Najed Shaer
Photo: Ido Erez

Majdal Shams man suspected of spying

Cleared for publication: Police and Shin Bet arrest Fada Shaer, resident of Druze village in Golan Heights, on suspicion of aiding enemy. Riots break out in village as police search his home

A resident of the northern Druze village of Majdal Shams, was arrested Sunday by the police and Shin Bet on suspicion of spying, contacting a foreign agent and aiding the enemy at a time of war, it was cleared on publication Monday.


On Sunday, riots broke out in the village as a police force arrived to search the man's house. A gag order has been placed on most of the affair's details.


The suspect, Fada Shaer, a 27-year-old musician, was arrested at Ben-Gurion Airport immediately after getting off a flight from France. He has denied all allegations.


His lawyer, Attorney Hanjar Nabi, said following a hearing at the Petah Tikva Magistrate's Court, "The suspect is completely innocent. We cannot elaborate due to the gag order, but we believe it will all turn out to be a mistake."

Angry mob attacks police car in Druze village, Sunday (Photo: AFP)


Shaer's remand was extended by seven days. The suspect's relatives arrived at the courthouse as well. His father, Najed, believes his son is innocent.


"These are just suspicions. The security officer's behavior at the airport and in our house yesterday is unacceptable. We in the Druze community are deeply insulted by such behavior. My son is a musician who studied in Syria for five years and before than in Egypt. He is not interested in politics – all he cares about is music," the father said.


The father said he had been waiting at the airport on Sunday for his son to return from a college vacation in France. "I prepared things for him and waited, after not seeing him for many months. Suddenly my son called and said he was on the plane and cannot get off.


"He didn't answer his phone for half another, and then a person called me and said he was a representative of the police. He told me my son was under arrest on suspicion of contacting an enemy state. He told me to get him a lawyer. I went back to my workplace near Tel Aviv, where I was met by policemen who searched my equipment and detained me for questioning."


'Disrespect towards family'

The father added that when he had contacted his relatives in the northern Golan village, he was told that "all the senior police officers in the north are near my house. I asked the village dignitaries to ensure that no problems are caused and not to hurt any of the soldiers so as not to create a provocation. I thank all those who helped and supported us."


Fada's brother, Farkhan, is still agitated over Sunday's events. "When I got home after working at the restaurant, I saw a gathering next to the house and the detectives wouldn't let me in. I am hurt by the disrespect towards the family by not allowing a man be present in the house during the search.


"My mother was there with my small brother and sister. I was told that my brother was arrested at Ben-Gurion Airport on suspicion of aiding the enemy. And my father, who asked what was going on, was taken in for questioning. They weren't told that there were detectives in our house while they were being questioned."


On Sunday evening, large police forces were dispatched to Majdal Shams in order to help rescue several officers trapped in one of the houses.


The officers were extricated from the house uninjured after two hours, and Druze dignitaries and village leaders accompanied them as they left the scene.


Two people were injured in the incident: A 40-year old man was taken to Ziv Hospital in Safed after sustaining light injuries to his eye, caused by glass fragments.


In addition, a 28-year old woman who sustained shock was brought to an emergency room in Kiryat Shmona. But residents initially reported that nine people had been injured, many of them from breathing tear gas.


Local tourism officials hope that Sunday's incident will not harm the villager's relations with their neighbors in the Galilee panhandle.


Hagai Einav contributed to this report



פרסום ראשון: 07.12.10, 17:15
 new comment
This will delete your current comment