Israeli authorities have accused activist Ayman Haj Yahya of allegedly spying for Iran after he was arrested on 16 March by a joint operation led by the internal security agency Shin Bet and Israeli police.
Haj Yahya – a well-known political leader and activist within the Palestinian community – was indicted for his connections with Iranian intelligence forces and for allegedly recruiting Arab citizens in Israel.
He is considered a preeminent member of the Arab-nationalist political party Balad that acquired three seats in the Israeli Knesset in the last election. In 2014, Haj Yahya left Balad over the party’s position on the Syrian civil war. He founded his own political movement, which advocated for a boycott of elections and Palestinian integration into Israel’s political system.
Haj Yahya was charged in court in the city of Lod with the accuse of “serious infringement of the security” of Israel on Sunday.
Israel law forbids its citizens from having interactions with Iran, Hezbollah, Hamas and terrorist organizations.