Sydney man jailed for spying in Israel

A SYDNEY man has admitted to being a technical spy for militant Palestinian party Hamas and attempting to gather information on missile-guidance systems while on a holiday in Israel earlier this year.

A SYDNEY man has admitted to being a technical spy for militant Palestinian party Hamas and attempting to gather information on missile-guidance systems while on a holiday in Israel earlier this year.

Eyad Rashid Abuarga, who has been in an Israeli jail since March, will now serve a further 20 months before he can to return to Australia.

The 46-year-old Sydney IT professional was arrested by the Israel security service in Tel Aviv in March. He was charged with being a member of Hamas and agreeing to help it gather sensitive technical information held by Israeli defence contractors.

At first Mr Abuarga denied the charges. "I am an Australian tourist who came to this country with my wife to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary," he told reporters outside a court appearance in June.

But during a plea-bargain deal struck on Sunday, he admitted to one charge of providing services for an illegal organisation in return for the prosecution withdrawing other charges relating to his alleged training with and membership of Hamas.

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