druse majdal shams_311.
(photo credit: Oren Kessler)
A Druse resident of the Golan Heights was charged Monday with passing
intelligence information on Israeli military positions to Syria.
this month the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) arrested Dr. Iad Johary, who
admitted that between 2005 and 2008 he was in touch with various Syrian
intelligence operatives while he was studying medicine in Syria. Druse residents
of the Golan Heights often travel to Syria for university studies and return to
Israel following their graduation.
A resident of Majdal Shams, Johary was
arrested at the Kuneitra border crossing between Israel and Syria.
left Israel in 2002 for medical studies in Syria and returned every summer up
until 2008 when he remained in Syria to complete his exams.
In 2009, he
met a Druse woman from Syria and they decided to marry. The couple decided to
return to Majdal Shams where Johary planned to open a family medical
The security agency said Tuesday that before each trip back to
Israel during his studies, Syrian intelligence ordered Johary to gather
information on IDF positions in the Golan Heights. He also allegedly purchased
equipment that he used to gather the information and transferred it to the
The Shin Bet said Johary admitted to providing information about
the locations of IDF bases in the North, IDF training in the Golan Heights, IDF
patrols along the Syrian border, security measures at the Kuneitra crossing and
residents of the Golan Heights who oppose the Syrian regime.
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allegedly passed on to his Syrian handlers an Israeli communications device,
papers about a military jeep he discovered and a SIM card for an Israeli cell
Johary told his interrogators he assumed the Syrians used the
equipment to eavesdrop on Israeli communications networks.
allegedly discussed his espionage activity with two Druse friends and asked them
to pass on additional military information that could be of interest to Syria.
He and one of the friends also developed a code system that was used to send
Johary information about Israel patrols along the border from Israel while he
was studying in Syria.
The state brought charges against Johary on Monday
in the Nazareth District Court for maintaining contact with a foreign
intelligence operative and passing information to the enemy.
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