Jerusalem, 2 September 2002

Palestinian Preventive Intelligence attempted to recruit IDF women soldiers as spies
(Communicated by the Prime Minister’s Media Adviser)

Among the documents that were captured at the Palestinian Authority Preventive Intelligence HQ in Beituniya during Operation Defensive Shield are those that attest to Preventive Intelligence’s intention to recruit Israeli women soldiers and young women due to start their military service for gathering information to which they would be privy during their IDF service. Recent ISA investigations have shown that the intention – which was revealed in documents dating from 1999 – was put into operation; the names of the young women involved have not been released for publication.

During this action, which was approved by West Bank Preventive Intelligence Commander Jibril Rajoub, Preventive Intelligence officers, posing as businessmen, met with a number of young women from Jerusalem, some of whom were about to be drafted and some of whom had already begun their IDF service. Locating the young women and gathering information about them for Palestinian intelligence was carried out by residents of the Jerusalem Arab neighborhood of Beit Safafa, who served as Preventive Intelligence agents and were in contact with the young women. Preventive Intelligence agents were supposed to handle the young women in return for drugs and money.

Two residents of Beit Safafa, Raad Ismail Zitawi and Musa Yasin Salman, have admitted to ISA investigators that they were in contact with Preventive Intelligence officers and that one of them served as a Preventive Intelligence source and reported on doings in Beit Safafa. Zitawi and Salman said that they knew the young Israeli women from the Jerusalem restaurant where one of them worked. They said that they arranged a meeting between Preventive Intelligence officers and the Israeli women in Ramallah in 1999.

The Israeli women referred to in the Palestinian documents were unaware of what was going on and in the end, no classified information was passed on to the Palestinians.