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No word from govt over anti-Israel recruitment operation claims in SA

Israel's Shin Bet security agency claims three Palestinians from the occupied West Bank have been indicted on espionage and terrorism charges.

FILE: The Union Buildings in Pretoria. Picture: GCIS

JOHANNESBURG - There's been no official comment from the South African government after Israel said it had cracked a Palestinian militant cell suspected of having been recruited and handled by Iranian intelligence officers who worked out of this country.

Israel has long been locked in a shadow war with arch-foe Iran, which supports Islamist guerrillas in the Gaza Strip and Lebanon and whose nuclear programme is widely believed to have been targeted repeatedly by Israeli saboteurs.

Israel's Shin Bet security agency claims that three Palestinians from the occupied West Bank have been indicted on espionage and terrorism charges.

They have confessed to accepting Iranian-assigned missions, including preparation of a suicide bombing and providing their handlers with Israeli cellphone SIM cards.

In its statement, the agency claims that the suspects' point of contact was a Palestinian who lived here in South Africa and had been recruited by Iranian intelligence.

It’s given no indication whether the South African government knew of the alleged Iranian activity, or of the Palestinian expatriate's whereabouts.

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