JERUSALEM – Israel's internal security agency says it has busted an Iranian espionage ring operating in the West Bank and arrested its Palestinian leader.
The Shin Bet said in a statement on Wednesday that 29-year-old Mohammed Maharmeh of Hebron is suspected of being enlisted by a relative in South Africa and working as an Iranian operative.
Maharmeh was allegedly tasked with enlisting suicide bombers and gunmen for attacks against Israelis. The Shin Bet says Maharmeh received $8,000 from Iran for his activity.
Israel has long accused Iran of funding Palestinian militant groups responsible for attacks against Israel, such as Hamas and Islamic Jihad.
The Shin Bet's announcement came shortly after the Israeli military said that Islamic Jihad was believed responsible for firing Iranian-made mortars at Israel from the Gaza Strip last week.