Two Israelis arrested for providing sensitive information to foreign agent

Many of the details about the case are still under a gag order.

 Document with the words "Top Secret" on it. (Illustrative) (photo credit: UK Public Record Office/Wikimedia Commons)
Document with the words "Top Secret" on it. (Illustrative)
(photo credit: UK Public Record Office/Wikimedia Commons)

Two Israelis from northern Israel and a town near Jerusalem were arrested at the beginning of last week on suspicions that they provided confidential information about a sensitive defense facility to a foreign agent, Ynet reported on Wednesday.

The two suspects, who are relatives of each other, are facing a series of charges including undermining the security of the state, possessing confidential information, collecting confidential information, making contact with an agent and giving information concerning the security of the state to a foreign agent.

Other charges include collusion, threats and an attack that causes actual damage. The case was investigated by the Shin Bet and the publication of general details was permitted after a request was made by Ynet.

One of the suspects works at the facility and collected the information about seven years ago, while his relative helped him protect the material.

The sensitive information was handed over to the relative's sister, a 14-year-old girl, with the intention that she would protect it. She then transferred the material to her friend and asked her to return it to the suspect who was not working at the facility. 

After the friend delayed in handing over the material, the two suspects ambushed the friend in the forest in the north during a school trip and attacked her, the friend claims, according to Ynet.

Israelis wait in line to go to Sinai through the Taba Crossing (credit: YEHUDA BEN-ITAH)Israelis wait in line to go to Sinai through the Taba Crossing (credit: YEHUDA BEN-ITAH)

A few weeks ago, the relative traveled to the Sinai Peninsula with the sensitive material and allegedly met with a foreign agent and gave him the information, according to the report. His parents contacted the police after failing to locate him and it was discovered that he was in the Sinai. The two suspects were then arrested early last week and their detention was repeatedly extended until they were released to house arrest this week.

The Ynet report added that the names of the suspects, the details of the security facility and the company that employed one of the suspects are under a gag order.

Lawyer denies claims of confidential documents being transferred

"This is a completely coincidental sequence of events from which Israel Police made a movie, which at best could be a comedy film, which has nothing to do with the suspicions," said Yehuda Shosan, the attorney for one of the suspects, to Ynet. "This is a young man, without any criminal record, absolutely innocent, who has never received any classified material and has never been handed any material of this type, and certainly did not contact a foreign agent."