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Ministry working on verifying details of charges against Jordanian in Israel

By JT - Jun 21,2019 - Last updated at Jun 21,2019

AMMAN — The Foreign Ministry on Thursday said it is following up through diplomatic channels on an Israeli announcement regarding the arrest of and charges against a Jordanian national.

Agence France-Presse (AFP) reported on Thursday that Israeli military prosecutors have charged a Jordanian national for allegedly working to set up Iranian spy networks in Israel and the occupied West Bank.

Israeli authorities claimed that Thaer Shafut had been in contact with Iranian intelligence operatives in Lebanon and Syria who told him to establish "a commercial infrastructure in Israel to serve as cover for future Iranian activity", according to AFP.

Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Sufian Qudah said that the ministry is working on verifying the details and evidence in the case against Shafut, a ministry statement said.

The 32-year-old businessman, born in the West Bank city of Hebron, was allegedly meant to use the cover of his business to gain access to Israel and the West Bank and “recruit spies for Iran”, the Shin Bet claimed.

The Israeli agency said that Shafut entered Israel in the summer of 2018 and then again in April 2019, claiming that he contacted "local elements whom he hoped would assist him in his mission", AFP reported.

The agency also claimed that Shafut proposed to his “Iranian handlers” that he establish a factory in Jordan that would “anchor future Iranian activity in Israel” and the West Bank.

The Shin Bet said it arrested Shafut at a crossing point from the West Bank to Israel on April 17, a spokesperson told AFP.

Shafut was charged in a military court on June 10 with “contact with an enemy, contact with a hostile organisation and conspiring to smuggle enemy money to the region”, the Shin Bet said.

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