Shin Bet Arrests Gaza Man Spying in Israel for Hamas


Palestinian Police officers guard in Beit Hanun, at the Erez crossing between Israel and the northern Gaza Strip, on Aug. 4. (Attia Muhammed/Flash90)

The Shin Bet arrested a 28-year-old Hamas member who was gathering intelligence for the terrorist organization within Israel, under the guise of being a businessman.

Hamas officials in the Gaza Strip employed him to carry out various missions within Israel, the Shin Bet said, during which he held meetings to promote terrorist activity, as well as to gather intelligence about Shin Bet agents.

Sabar Mahmoud Yousef Abu Thabat, a resident of Deir al-Balah, was arrested for questioning last month at the Erez crossing while trying to enter Israel from Gaza.

According to the Shin Bet, Abu Thabat, who had a permit to enter Israel for commercial purposes, held several meetings with Hamas operatives at the Beit Hanoun crossing to “promote terror activity and collect intelligence information.”

The agency said that among the tasks that Hamas asked him to carry out was to reveal the identity of Shin Bet agents and to gather intelligence on sites in Israel.

During his investigation, the Shin Bet said that he provided intelligence about the operating methods of the terror group’s intelligence apparatus, including the identity of agents, the location of tunnels, as well as stockpiles of weapons and military locations where the group operates.

The Shin Bet said that Abu Thabat “took advantage of his stays in Israel, which were intended to give him the opportunity to work in Israel and provide for his family, for the benefit of providing intelligence information to his Hamas operatives and with full awareness of the implications.”

Following the investigation, his case was transferred to the prosecutor’s office in the Southern District. An indictment will be filed against him for serious security offenses.

“The Shin Bet views with great seriousness any intention to carry out terror activity and espionage from the Gaza Strip, and will continue to work together with the Israel Police and the IDF in order to locate and thwart in advance any hostile activity on the part of any person operating on behalf of Hamas,” the Shin Bet said.

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