(JTA) — An Australian citizen was arrested by Israel and charged with spying for Hamas.
Iaad Rashid Abu Arja, 46, a computer expert, was indicted in Petach Tikvah District Court last week, accused of being recruited by the banned Islamic organization.
Israeli prosecutors allege that Arja, who holds dual Australian and Saudi citizenship, was asked to provide intelligence and surveillance information on key technology companies in Israel. He also holds a Jordanian passport.
Hamas believes the Israeli companies are developing technology to intercept missiles fired from Gaza.
The indictment, obtained by Reuters, says that “The main purpose of the visit to Israel was to see how easily he gets in and out. He was asked as a computer man to meet local companies (involved in developing Israel’s anti-missile technology), to photograph them and to get maps with directions to these companies.”
It also alleges that Arja contacted Hamas while living in Australia in 2007 and went to Syria in 2008 for military training. Last year he allegedly went to Saudi Arabia and met a senior Hamas official.