3 Druse charged with espionage

Majdal Shams residents contacted Syria, planned to abduct pilot.

August 5, 2010 11:30
1 minute read.
majdal shams 298.88

majdal shams 298.88. (photo credit: GPO)

The Northern District's Prosecutor's office indicted Majed Sha'ar, 58, his son Fada, 27, and Mahmoud Masarwa, 62, on charges of espionage on Thursday.

The three have been charged with relaying classified information to a former Majdal Shams resident who moved to Syria and works with the Syrian government.

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The suspects deny the charges, and say that their contact in Syria is a family friend and former neighbor.

The Golan Heights residents reportedly filmed an army base near their village, and planned to send the tape to Syria. They are also accused of sending their contact a chart that shows IDF routes to Syria, in the event of a war, as well as the locations of tanks and IAF planes in the Golan.

The alleged spies also agreed to help the man extradite a pilot who had escaped from Syria to Israel.

Earlier in July, Israeli forces entered the home of Fada Sha’ar, to conduct a search and make arrests.

Before long, more than 1,000 villagers surrounded the home and refused to allow the officers to leave. Police dispatched a negotiations team that spoke with village elders, and the conflict ended peacefully.

Sha'ar's father protested the arrest, saying his son was innocent, and involved in music, which connects human beings with no nationality or language. The father was arrested two days later.

Soon after, Masarwa, followed by Sha'ar's mother Mona Sha'ar, 46, were arrested as well.

Unlike most Israeli Druse, almost all the residents of Majdal Shams and the three other Druse villages on the Golan Heights identify themselves as Syrians.

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