Indictments were filed against two Palestinian West Bank residents after they had been recruited to conduct operations on behalf of Hezbollah and the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Quds Force, the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) announced on Monday.
Yusuf Mansour and Maarsil Mansour allegedly agreed to smuggle and traffic military equipment in Israel for operatives who had identified themselves as representatives of Hezbollah.
Yusuf is accused of gathering intelligence with assistance from Maarsil on IDF operations in the West Bank on behalf of the Lebanon-based terrorist organization. The two had also worked to recruit additional operatives, and received funding to aid them in these missions.
What did the Shin Bet say?
According to the Shin Bet, Yusuf communicated with Hezbollah operatives Hudah Mahaneh and Haj Mahmed Radwan through encryption software and a dedicated email address. An investigation reportedly revealed much about methods used by Hezbollah and the Quds Force to locate and recruit within Israel and the Palestinian territories.
The Shin Bet believes that Mahaneh and Radwan (who is also known as Mahmed Bashir) are part of an IRGC Quds Force unit devoted to assisting Palestinian terrorist organizations against the State of Israel.
“The Shin Bet takes seriously the attempts by Iran and affiliates to establish secret infrastructure in Israel with the purpose of terrorism operation against Israeli citizens,” according to the agency’s statement on Monday. The Shin Bet said it would “continue to operate together with security forces in order to locate and foil all activity that endangers the security of the state.”
The arrest announcement comes at a time of increased tension in the region. On April 7, a barrage of 34 rockets was launched at Israel from Lebanon, and several more were launched from Syria on April 9. The IDF has allegedly been striking back at IRGC and Hezbollah resources within Syria.