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Israel uncovers alleged Iranian-backed terror cell run from SA

An Israeli security agency has indicted three Palestinians from the West Bank on charges of espionage and terrorism after they confessed to accepting Iranian-assigned missions.

FILE: Picture: AFP.

GERMANY - An Israeli security agency says it has uncovered an anti-Israeli recruitment operation run from South Africa.

The agency has indicted three Palestinians from the West Bank on charges of espionage and terrorism after they confessed to accepting Iranian-assigned missions, which includes the preparation of a suicide bombing.

In a statement, the agency says the accused’s point of contact was a Palestinian living in South Africa.

A 29-year-old Palestinian computer engineering student, Mahmoud Makharmeh, has been arrested.

The Israeli security agency says he was recruited for Iranian intelligence activity by a relative of his, Bahkar Makharmeh, who is from Hebron in the West Bank but has been residing in South Africa in recent years.

The agency also says it has learned an Iranian intelligence has been using South Africa as a significant centre for locating, recruiting and operating agents against Israel in Palestinian territories.

Two years ago, the now arrested engineering student travelled to South Africa where he was recruited for Iranian activity.

He subsequently met several times with Iranian agents, several of whom came from Tehran, especially to meet with him.

The student has been charged with advancing terrorism against Israeli.

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