Third Majdal Shams suspect arrested

By JPOST.COM STAFF,
July 20, 2010 17:14

Custody extended for man accused of espionage, son also detained.

1 minute read.



majdal shams 298.88

majdal shams 298.88. (photo credit: GPO)

A Baka al-Garabiya resident was arrested Tuesday on suspicion of espionage and security related offenses in connection with the Majdal Shams arrests earlier this month.

Petah Tikva Magistrates Court extended the custody of Mahmoud Matzrawa, aged 62, by ten days.

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The suspect was the third person to be taken into custody this month in the case. Earlier in July, a musician named Fada Sha'ar was arrested in on similar charges, provoking a near-riot in Majdal Shams, a Druse village in the Golan Heights. His father was arrested two days later.

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

Both arrests were conducted by the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) and the Israel Police's International Crimes Unit. The latest suspect was brought to the Petah Tikva Magistrate's Court for a remand hearing behind closed doors.

A media ban had been placed since the investigation began, and prevented most details from being published.

Earlier in July, Israeli forces entered the home of the first suspect, Fada Sha’ar of Majdal Shams, 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.


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