Iron Dome
Iron Dome Flash 90

The Central District Court has sentenced Mai-bat Masarwa, 27, to two-and-a-half years in prison for passing information to the Hezbollah terror group.

Masarwa, from the central Arab city of Tayibe, admitted to and was convicted of contacting a foreign agent and passing information to an enemy.

The news of her indictment initially broke in March of last year, but her name was not published at that time.

Masarwa took various photographs of Israel's Iron Dome missile defense system, military vehicles, a military base, and a hospital, and passed them to an agent of Hezbollah, who contacted her via Facebook.

According to the corrected indictment, the Arab woman answered a request by the Hezbollah agent, who reached out over Facebook and requested that she take various photographs for him, from within Israeli territory.

In this context, the defendant took and sent to the agent, over a period of time, approximately 12 photographs of military vehicles, photographs of the perimeter fence in the area of ​​Rosh Hanikra, an Iron Dome battery, the area near Erez Crossing, the Hatzerim Air Force Base and the Air Force Museum in Hatzerim. She actively worked to take these photographs, including traveling to distant areas of the country, using binoculars, and so on.

On one occasion, the agent requested that she attend an event on Hezbollah and ask the presenter, "Is there a chance of war between Hezbollah and Israel?" The woman did as requested and even recorded the question and answer and sent them to the agent.

On another occasion, following a military event involving Hezbollah on the northern border, she passed to the agent, at his request, photographs of the real-time activity at Rambam Health Care Campus.

As part of the agreement, Masarwa admitted to her crimes, and she was convicted following the submission of a corrected indictment, without agreement on the issue of punishment. In light of the above, she was convicted for crimes of contact with a foreign agent, and passing information to an enemy of the State.

During the court process, attorney Kleinman said that "these are crimes which undermine the existence of the State of Israel. The accused maintained a connection with Hezbollah, an organization which the State of Israel has been fighting for years. The potential damage to the State in helping this organization is on the highest level."

"The accused was not passive in her actions but very active - she made special trips to locations, and when she did not succeed, she made the trip again the next day. She even enlisted her friend to do what Ali (the agent - ed.) had requested of her.

"We cannot accept that a citizen who receives rights from the State should choose to undermine its existence. Since she is a citizen, the State has put faith in her, and therefore therefore it is complicated to trace her steps. The length of time during which the accused acted, for a year and a half, constitutes another reason to deal harshly [with this]."

In light of this, the Central District Prosecutor's Office requested a 3.5-year prison sentence, in order to send the message that "the State of Israel will not be silent in its efforts to protect itself from those who are interested in bringing about its destruction, so that every Israeli citizen knows that the price he will pay for such acts is a severe price, and so that the message will be sent loud and clear."

In its decision, the court noted that Masarwa's acceptance of responsibility was only partial and she downplayed the severity of her actions and tended to place the responsibility on external factors. In addition, though the examiners understood that the chance she would commit similar crimes in the future could not be ruled out, the court took into account that the accused is young, with no criminal record, as well as her harsh prison conditions and the fact that the damage resulting from her actions was only at the moderate level. As such, the court sentenced the accused to 2.5 years in prison, as well as conditional imprisonment.