ISRAEL AT WAR - DAY 142

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Syrian man charged with spying on Israel for Hezbollah

26-year-old was caught when entering Israeli territory in January; prosecutors say he was paid to provide info on troop movements

Israeli soldiers patrol the border fence with Syria, in southern Golan Heights, on January 29, 2023. Insert: Ghaith Abdullah, an alleged Hezbollah operative. (Michael Giladi/Flash90; Israel Defense Forces)
Israeli soldiers patrol the border fence with Syria, in southern Golan Heights, on January 29, 2023. Insert: Ghaith Abdullah, an alleged Hezbollah operative. (Michael Giladi/Flash90; Israel Defense Forces)

Prosecutors this week filed charges against a Syrian man accused of spying on Israel for the Hezbollah terror group, including following the movements of forces along the border.

Ghaith Abdullah, 26, was arrested in January by military forces after entering Israeli territory for unspecified reasons.

Abdullah, according to the IDF, was part of the so-called “Golan File.” He was detained on January 27 alongside another man, who was apparently uninvolved in the Hezbollah efforts.

According to the charges, he was recruited by a Hezbollah agent to report on and photograph Israeli troop movements in exchange for money.

Prosecutors have asked that Abdullah be remanded for the duration of proceedings.

The military said Abdullah and the second man were detained by soldiers of the elite Egoz unit on the eastern side of the border fence — built in Israeli territory — near the Syrian village of al-Asbah on January 27, following “substantial intelligence efforts.”

The IDF said Abdullah was a squad commander involved in advancing attacks against Israel. The military named another operative in his squad, the leader of another squad, and a Syrian man involved in recruiting new members.

The Hezbollah plot — known within the organization as the Golan File — mostly involves collecting intelligence and recruiting operatives, but also has weaponry in its possession, namely explosives, light arms, machine guns, and antitank missiles, according to the IDF.

Authorities have from time to time arrested and charged individuals with spying on Israel for Hezbollah, including providing inside information, helping recruit people for terror attacks and more.

Iran-backed Hezbollah, considered the most significant threat along Israel’s borders, is a Lebanese terror group, but has become increasingly active in Syria since coming to the Assad regime’s aid during the civil war in the country.

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