Yaqoub Abu al-Qia’an, an Israeli businessman and former politician, worked with Iranian intelligence service for a long time. He was in contact with A Lebanese-Iraqi in Lebanon who transferred the information to the Iranian intelligence officials.
An Israeli businessman has been accused of serving Iranian intelligence services through connections in the neighboring Lebanon. The same person stood for Knesset alongside former defense minister.
Yaqoub Abu al-Qia’an is a construction mogul living in Bedouin in southern Israel. He was also active in Israeli politics for a period. Abu al-Qia’an faces charges concerning communication with a Lebanese-Iraqi entity and conveying secret information to a third party.
Yaqoub Abu al-Qia’an had forbidden connections with a Lebanese-Iraqi guy who, in turn, served the Iranian intelligence service. Details about the decisions and strategies of Israeli defense ministry were among the information the Iranian side received.
Moshe Ya’alon, former Israeli defense minister, included Abu al-Qia’an into his party’s list for the 2019 election. Telem, nevertheless, made a joint agreement with two other parties to create the Blue and White coalition. As a result, he was removed at the early stages and did not find the chance to run.
The detention of Abu al-Qia’an in Israel took place 45 days ago while the media received no information until days ago. He had no contacts with attorneys in the first weeks of imprisonment.
The media responded the news in different ways. The Israeli media sufficed with covering the news without providing a feedback or analysis. The independent media, however, referred to the deep intelligence vacuum at the heart of the Israeli intelligence and military structure.
Abu al-Qia’an and Haidar al-Mashhadani
Shin Bet, The Israel Security Agency, says Abu al-Qia’an had been in long time connection with a Lebanese-Iraqi: Haidar al-Mashhadani. Al-Mashhadani’s mission was to mediate between Abu al-Qia’an and officials at Iranian intelligence service.
Shin bet further explains about al-Mashhadani’s role saying “as part of these contacts, Abu al-Qia’an provided updates of what was going on in Israel.”
According to officials, Abu al-Qia’an also requested meetings with other al-Mashhadani associates. Those he asked for direct meetings are supposedly Iranian parties to the process.He highlighted the need of holding such sessions undercover, though. No such gatherings occurred, according to Shin bet.
Shin Bet claims the end users of information centered on prospective commercial possibilities in several Arab nations of ME. This might indicate the covert long-time ties between Israel and Arab states which surfaced in the past months.
The discovery of the operation is part of Shin bet’s continuous efforts to prevent plans by Iran and its affiliates. According to Shin Bet, in Abu al-Qia’an case, the enemies meant to recruit the cooperation of local figures to acquire intelligence.
Attorneys representing the defendant, now known as Abu al-Qia’an, rejected the allegations in talks with the local media. Yedioth Ahronoth, local daily in Israel, says the attorney general blocked the media from accessing details of the case.
Security scandals is not unprecedented in Israel. Three years earlier, Shin Bet and Israeli police revealed the role of Gonen Segev in spying for Iranian intelligence services in secret visits to Iran. Segev served as Knesset member for a period starting in 1992. He was also Israeli Minister of Energy & Infrastructure.
The Iranian influence in Israeli political and administrative apparatus illuminates the roots under recurrent failure of Israeli military and intelligence services in the past two decades.