Father of Bedouin charged with espionage: ‘If he did it, he should be punished’

The father of Shehadeh Abu Alqian, a 25-year-old Bedouin who was charged Thursday with joining the Israel Defense Forces in May as a spy on behalf of a Gaza-based terror group, has said that if the allegations are true, his son should be punished.

Speaking to Channel 12 news, Abu Alqian’s father, Shahadeh, said he would “sign off” on his son’s punishment if the charges are proven true.

“I didn’t know about this but if my son did do it, he should be punished. I really hope they look into this and find out whether it’s true or not,” he said in an interview with the TV network which aired Thursday evening.

“If let’s say, my son made a mistake, and did something stupid, he will receive the punishment, and I will even sign off on the punishment,” he said.

“Anyone who acts against the State of Israel, and against the security [of Israel], doesn’t matter if it’s my son, my brother, anyone who does such difficult, dangerous [things], should receive a punishment,” Shahadeh Abu Alqian said.

He continued: “I have nothing bad to say about Israel, it’s my country and it’s where I will die. My son enlisted [to the IDF] on his own accord. He wanted to live in dignity and to follow his heart.”

Shehadeh Abu Alqian, 25, who is charged with spying for a Gaza-based terror group, is seen wearing an Israeli military uniform in May 2022. (Courtesy)

The Shin Bet said earlier Thursday that Abu Alqian, originally from a Bedouin village near Hura in the northern Negev region, was instructed by the Gaza-based Mujahideen Brigades to join the IDF “for the purpose of promoting terrorist activity and gathering intelligence in Israeli territory.”

Abu Alqian was detained on May 30, more than a week after he enlisted in the IDF.

The Shin Bet said its investigation revealed that Abu Alqian performed various tasks for the terror group, including gathering internal intelligence from the army, photographing sites in Israel, and stealing weapons in order to transfer them to “terrorist elements.”

The agency said Abu Alqian conducted “most” of his actions before he enlisted in the IDF.

According to the indictment, Abu Alqian sought to “act against the State of Israel and against its security” after his father’s illegally built home was given a demolition order by authorities in 2019. The indictment didn’t specify whether the house had since been demolished, and his father did not mention it in the interview.

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