Gag order lifted: Israeli Arab indicted for treason, spying for Iran

Israeli District Court judge rules that personal details of Ayman Haj Yahya, a 50 yr-old Tayibe resident, can now be made public, some 2 weeks after being indicted on numerous security offenses, including intention to commit treason.

By Gilad Morag


An Israeli man accused of spying for Iranian government has been named as Ayman Haj Yahya.

The court on Sunday ruled to release the personal details about the 50-year-old from the Arab city of Tayibe in central Israel.

Yahya was indicted two weeks ago at Lod District Court for committing a series of security offenses including having ties to Iranian foreign agents and intention to commit treason.

The Shin Ben security service said the Israeli national was allegedly recruited by the Islamic Republic to commit espionage and carry out attacks on Israeli targets.

Lebanese national who recruited the Arab-Israeli - Unattributed

Khaled Yamani, the Lebanese national who recruited the Arab-Israeli, Ayman Haj Yahya. – Unattributed

According to the first charge brought against him, Yahya was in contact via Facebook with a Lebanese national named Khaled Yamani, in 2018-2019.

The two met in Denmark in April 2018 and again in Paris in September of the same year, when Yamani allegedly revealed he was working for Iranian Intelligence, which was interested in recruiting the Israeli.

Yamani is then said to have supplied the Israeli citizen with an encryption device, trained him in its use and instructed the man to contact his Iranian handlers. But the accused spy was unable to operate the device.

According to the second charge, the Israeli traveled to Hungary in February 2020, where with Yamani’s mediation he had three meetings with two men who identified themselves as Iranian intelligence operatives.

The indictment states that these meetings discussed several subjects, including the Israeli’s intention to assist Iran by relaying information on Israeli security, politics, society and media.

During these meetings, the men allegedly agreed to maintain a clandestine relation using a new encryption device. On March 10 and 11 of this year, the suspect allegedly attempted to relay information to the Iranian Intelligence operatives using the encryption device. On March 16, he allegedly saw they had responded but was unable to decipher their message. He was then arrested.


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