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Israel charges Palestinians with spying for Iran

AFP  |  Jerusalem 

An has charged three Palestinians with planning "terrorist" attacks on behalf of arch-foe Iran, security agency said today.

said its agents and the had arrested three men from the city of in the occupied West but its statement did not specify when.

The agency named the alleged ringleader as Mahmud Makharmeh, 29, a computer engineering student and said his accomplices were Nur Makharmeh, 22, and Diaa Sarakhneh, 22.

It did not say if the Makharmehs were related.

The statement said the group "was run by Iranian intelligence and was recruited and financed by an Iranian intelligence living in "

"It has been learned that has been using as a significant centre for locating, recruiting and operating agents against Israel," the English- language statement added.

It said travelled to where he several times with Iranian agents, "several of whom came from especially to meet him."

He was ordered to recruit suicide attackers and gunmen and to collect and pass on intelligence to his Iranian contacts, who paid him $8,000 dollars, the said.

It said that all three were "recently" charged in an

was charged with contact with a hostile foreign organisation, receiving enemy funds and attempting to join an illegal organisation.

The other two were charged with attempting to join an illegal organisation.

says is dedicated to its destruction and supports global terror, in addition to backing Palestinian Islamic militants and and Lebanon's Shiite Hezbollah.

said the group's alleged plot was just the latest attempt by to attack

"This is not the first time. They are trying various methods, and in various fields, to attack the State of Israel," the office of the Israeli leader quoted him as saying in an English-language statement.

In 2015 an Israeli sentenced an Iranian-born Belgian citizen to seven years in prison after convicting him of spying for posing as a

He was sentenced for "aiding an enemy during war" and "espionage" on behalf of Iran's

Iranian academic Ahmadreza Djalali is currently facing execution in after his October conviction on a charge of spying for

Djalali has said he is being punished for refusing to spy for while he was working in

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, January 04 2018. 00:40 IST