An IDF soldier stands atop a tank near Alonei Habashan on the Golan Heights, close to the ceasefire line between Israel and Syria.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
The army on Thursday announced it has filed an indictment against a soldier for illegally sharing classified military information regarding IDF operations on the Golan border with another Israeli citizen who passed the information on to the Syrian government.
The soldier, a corporal whose name is under gag order and was referred to as “H.H.” serves in a combat unit and was charged with exposing secrets and aiding the enemy.
According to the indictment filed in the Central Military District Court, H.H. provided information around February 16-17 “that could harm state security.”
The Israeli citizen middleman to whom H.H. allegedly provided the information, Sudi al-Makat, 48, from Majdal Shams on the Golan Heights, was indicted last week by the Nazareth District Court for a wide range of security offenses.
H.H., Makat and associates were arrested by the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) and the police on and around February 25. According to investigators, Makat and other residents of Majdal Shams documented IDF movements along the border with Syria and transferred the information to officials in the Syrian government and intelligence community. Information was sent over the Internet, through a Syrian television station, and by a direct line that Makat had with Syrian officials.
Makat admitted that he was in touch with Medhat Saleh, a Syrian government official well known for his links with officials in Syrian intelligence. Makat had served a full 27-year prison sentence up until 2012 for violent security crimes.
The Central District Military Court ordered H.H. remanded to military police custody until the end of the trial and, until now, had imposed a gag order on the entire affair.
On Thursday night, the High Court of Justice rejected a petition by Makat to appoint a defense lawyer for him who does not have approved credentials for representing defendants in cases dealing with classified information.
Makat had argued that having a lawyer “approved” by the state, even if the state gave him some choice, was a policy made to muzzle defendants such as him.Jerusalem Post staff contributed to this report.