Israeli security forces announced on Thursday the arrest of a Bedouin IDF soldier on security offenses, alleging that he is a member of a Gaza-based terrorist organization.
Shahada Abu Alqian, 25, a resident of the southern Bedouin town of Hura near Beersheva, was taken into custody on May 30 following a joint operation by the Israel Police, the Shin Bet and the Israel Military Police Corps.
Abu Alqian was detained just days after enlisting in the IDF following an investigation that revealed “he had been recruited by a military infrastructure from the Gaza Strip belonging to the Kata’ab al-Mujahadin organization,” Shin Bet said in a statement.
Abu Alqian is accused of carrying out several missions for the terror group, believed to be a sub-unit of Hamas, including “intelligence-gathering, photographing sites in Israel and stealing firearms with the intention of transferring them to terror elements,” according to the intelligence agency.
The group allegedly instructed Abu Alqian to join the Israeli military in order to gather inside information that would assist the planning and carrying out of terrorist activity.
Shin Bet added that the 25-year-old’s motive was a desire to “take revenge against law enforcement activities conducted by state authorities vis-à-vis his family over illegal construction.”
In mid-2019, Israeli authorities carried out a demolition order of his father’s house, which had been built illegally. It was then that Abu Alqian reportedly decided to act against the state and started stealing weapons from the IDF later that year, according to the indictment.
During 2021, he contacted a terrorist operative in Gaza nicknamed “the doctor” and delivered information to him.
Abu Alqian sought his help in joining the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades – the military wing of Hamas. “The doctor” then connected him with another operative who was serving Kata’ab al-Mujahadin.
Israeli media outlets reported that his family had no knowledge of his actions, adding that he denies any wrongdoing. Two of his brothers told Ynet that these were all “lies” and that the family is loyal to the state.
Another family member was quoted by Walla News saying, “If it turns out there is any truth to this, we hope he gets punished. We condemn this [conduct]. If any of it is true, it’s very serious.”
Tal Heinrich is a senior correspondent for both ALL ISRAEL NEWS and ALL ARAB NEWS. She is currently based in New York City. Tal also provides reports and analysis for Israeli Hebrew media Channel 14 News.