JERUSALEM – An Israeli Arab woman was sentenced to three years in prison Wednesday for aiding the Hezbollah militia that fought a bitter war with Israel last summer.
According to the ruling, Manar Jabarin, 24, from the Israeli Arab town of Umm al-Fahm met with Hezbollah agents while studying at Amman University, Jordan in 2004. She agreed to transfer a computer memory card with intelligence information from Hezbollah to its operatives in the West Bank.
Jabarin never actually joined the militia, nor did she deliver their messages, but she did maintain contact with an enemy agent for two years, the ruling said.
Israel and the Hezbollah fought a 34-day war last summer after Hezbollah guerrillas killed three Israeli soldiers and captured two others in a cross-border raid. Hezbollah is defined as a terrorist organization by Israel, the U.S. and others.
The judges wrote that they took into account her young age at the time of the events as well her expressions of remorse throughout the trial. She has 45 days to appeal the sentence.
The woman was arrested in June by Israel's internal Shin Bet security service.
Over the years, the Shin Bet has arrested fewer than a dozen Israeli Arabs on espionage charges. Israel believes Hezbollah group and has an entire branch dedicated to drafting spies in Israel, particularly among its Arab citizens, who make up some 20 percent of Israel's population.
In March, the security agency said Hezbollah directly supports 50 groups in the West Bank and 30 in the Gaza Strip, most of them allied with the Fatah or Islamic Jihad.