The Jerusalem District Court sentenced Yasmin Jaber, a resident of the Old City of Jerusalem, to two and half years in prison on Sunday for working to recruit Israelis and Palestinians to carry out terror attacks on behalf of the Lebanon-based Hezbollah terror group.
Jaber, who was working at the time for the National Library of Israel on the campus of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, was arrested last August after an extensive Shin Bet security service investigation.
She was also given a suspended sentence of a year.
Jabar was convicted under a plea bargain of contacting an enemy agent, being a member of a terrorist organization illegally traveling abroad, and possessing an article for the purpose of terror.
According to the indictment, Jaber was in contact with Iran-backed Hezbollah agents during visits she made to Lebanon and Turkey during the period 2015-2018. After returning to Israel she maintained contact with the agents via coded messages exchanged on social media.
During the meetings, Hezbollah agents told Jaber that her role was to recruit additional activists inside Israel with a focus on Arab Israelis and in particular women, who tend to have more freedom of movement as they are generally considered less of a terror threat by Israeli security services. The activists she would recruit were to be tasked with gathering information that would then be used for terror attacks.
Jaber had initially denied the charges, with her lawyer alleging that she was interrogated 20 hours a day for weeks at a time and was denied legal counsel.
According to the indictment filed last September, Jaber left the country in 2015 to attend a youth conference focused on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in Beirut. During her time in Lebanon, she went to a number of sites operated by the Hezbollah terror group, including a museum in the rolling hills of south Lebanon and the grave of a renowned terrorist allegedly assassinated by Israel.
The Shin Bet security service charged that Jaber was recruited during a subsequent visit to Beirut. Her trip was paid for by Hezbollah agent Ataya Samhadana, who is known to be a member of a joint of Hezbollah and the Quds Force of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Force, according to Hebrew media reports.
During a subsequent trip to Turkey, she was given further instructions and some cash amounting to $320, according to the indictment.
Another woman arrested along with Jaber, who allegedly was part of the same Hezbollah cell, as part of a plea bargain confessed to having contacts with the terror group. The Shin Bet alleged that Tasneem al-Qadi, a Turkish resident originally from Ramallah, mediated between Jaber and Hezbollah. She was sentenced to three months in prison and a fine of NIS 1,000 ($288).
At the time of Jaber’s arrest, her employer, the National Library of Israel, expressed “great surprise that our employee, Yasmin Jaber, is suspected of such grave offenses.”
“The security services did not update us over the past weeks as to her arrest. The Library will help in every possible way with the investigation in the event that we are asked to do,” a spokesperson for the National Library said at the time.