(Israel Hayom/Exclusive to JNS.org) Several residents of the Israeli Druze village of Majdal Shams, in the Golan Heights, were recently arrested in a joint Shin Bet security agency and police operation on suspicion of spying for Syria, defense officials said Friday.
A gag order placed on the case was partially lifted by the Nazareth District Court on Friday, allowing the Shin Bet and the police to release some details to the media. One of the suspects, identified as Tzadki Makat, 48, is a former security prisoner released from Israeli prison in 2012.
According to Israel’s Channel 2, Makat was indicted on several counts of espionage, conspiracy, aiding and abetting the enemy in wartime, contact with a foreign agent, and supporting a terrorist organization. He has denied any wrongdoing, though a police source said that Makat has implicated himself in all the offenses for which he was indicted.
It is believed that Makat and the other suspects in the case gathered intelligence on Israeli military movements along the Israel-Syria border for several months, and relayed it to their handlers in the Syrian government and intelligence community. According to the indictment, Makat sent the information over the Internet, through a Syrian television station, and by direct contact with his Syrian handlers.
In 1985, Makat was convicted of various security offenses, including illegal arms and explosives offenses and affiliation with an illegal organization, and was sentenced to 27 years in prison. He served his full sentence. According to Channel 10, during his interrogation, Makat admitted to having direct contact with Madhat Salah, a Syrian government official with known ties to the country’s intelligence community.