Golan resident charged with aiding Syrian army


(JTA) — Israeli prosecutors indicted a man for allegedly crossing the border with Syria to aid the Syrian army.

Police and the Shin Bet security service arrested a 28-year-old resident of the Golan village of Majdal Shams on Nov. 17 on suspicion that he gave intelligence to enemy agents and several other related offenses, Army Radio reported Friday morning.

The defendant, Raafat Hamad al-Halabi, was indicted at the Nazareth District Court for illegally crossing the border from Israel to Syria on Sept. 20. He stayed in Syria for two months, during which he spoke to Syrian intelligence agents and gave them information about his village and the surrounding area, according to the indictment.

Another Majdal Shams resident, identified by Army Radio as Mohammad Rumia, 24, was charged with assisting Halabi by driving him to the border.

Majdal Shams is populated almost entirely by Druze. Its residents consider themselves Syrian citizens under Israeli occupation since Israel captured the Golan Heights during the 1967 Six Day War.

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