Pal Gunmen
© AP/Khalil Hamra
Masked Palestinian gunmen
Israeli authorities have charged two Palestinians with various security offenses after an investigation determined that both Israeli citizens were recruited by Hamas to gather intelligence for future terror attacks.

The Israel Security Agency, or Shin Bet, arrested 30-year-old Rami Amudi and 34-year-old Rajab Dacha on January 2 for allegedly conducting various intelligence operations within Israel to gather information for Hamas. The Jerusalem Post reported that the two Palestinians appeared in the Central District Court on Monday and were indicted on "serious security offenses."

According to the Shin Bet, Hamas sought out these two individuals due to the fact that they were Israeli citizens but could also return to Gaza without raising suspicions, due to their family ties in the region.

Amudi had recently relocated from Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip to Tel Aviv in November 2019 after reestablishing ties with his Israeli mother to obtain documentation for the move, reported the Jerusalem Post.

Dacha, who also has an Israeli mother, moved to Israel after obtaining the proper documentation in 2017. The 34-year-old reportedly made several periodic trips back to the Gaza Strip every few months to visit his wife and five children.

An investigation by Shin Bet determined that Metcal Razi, a 32-year-old from the Gazan city of Beit Lahia, recruited Dacha and acted as his handler for Hamas.

The agency asserted that Dacha was directed to carry out a number of missions under Razi's direction, including photographing several Israeli military bases, police facilities, Iron Dome batteries and other security facilities in the country. He's also accused of sending information to Hamas detailing the locations of where rockets fired from the Gaza Strip had impacted in Israel.

"Hamas in the Gaza Strip continues to cynically exploit the Erez crossing between Israel and Israel for the promotion of terror in Israel," the Shin Bet said in statement, as reported by the Jerusalem Times, noting that that Israeli authorities "take a very serious view" on Hamas' recruitment of Israeli civilians.

"The Shin Bet will continue to work with its partner, the Israeli police, to monitor and thwart any hostile espionage activities by terrorist organizations in the Gaza Strip."