The border fence between Israel and Egypt along Highway 12.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
The Central District Attorney’s Office on Thursday filed an indictment against Salman Jiribia with the Lod District Court on charges of espionage, conspiracy, and theft of confidential military intelligence.
According to the indictment, Jiribia, 29, of Lod, promised to pay reserve IDF officer Benny Rabayev NIS 50,000 in return for secret military information regarding the IDF presence on the border with Egypt.
The two knew each other from prior IDF service, said the indictment, though Jiribia was already a civilian. Rabayev is being prosecuted separately by the IDF legal division since he committed his alleged offense while on reserve duty.
The information provided by Rabayev between July 16 and July 28 was extensive and was some of the most sensitive operational details a spy could provide, which could leave the IDF vulnerable, said a press release from the Justice Ministry.
The indictment noted that the information included the number of troops in the area, the exact placement and movements of forces along the border fence at specific times, including during specific drills, and the location of observation towers.
It also included the location and movements of most of the commanders of the border unit and which areas the IDF was not currently patrolling and which areas were considered off-limits for various reasons.
Jiribia then allegedly passed on the military intelligence to unknown parties for large sums of money. He and Rabayev used code for referring to each other by phone to try to mask who they were communicating with when illegally discussing the classified information, according to the indictment.
In a motion to keep Jiribia in custody until the end of his trial, the state noted that an intelligence officer with the rank of major in the IDF confirmed that the intelligence Jiribia was allegedly selling was accurate and could have major security implications if the information were passed along to the enemy.
When questioned by the police, Jiribia denied any knowledge of the crimes and claimed to have been framed. He has been in police custody since June 30, but the indictment and the facts of the case were cleared for publication only on Thursday.
Simultaneously, the Central District Attorney’s Office filed an indictment with the same court against Iyad Kishek and Vadim Hodtov, who allegedly conspired with Rabayev to illegally acquire two guns for NIS 33,500.
The indictment stated that Rabayev was driving to deliver the guns to Kishek and Hodtov on July 31 when he was stopped and arrested at the Ti’einim checkpoint near Taibeh, which broke the case open.Jerusalem Post staff contributed to this report.