Arab-Israeli real estate tycoon accused of providing information to Iran



Yakub Abo Alkin, an Israeli millionaire of Arab origin, was accused Monday of contacting a foreign agent on Iran and passing information to an enemy.

According to Shin Bet, Israel’s Internal Security Service, Alkin was arrested in June on suspicion of illegal contacts during 2019 with a Lebanese-Iraqi citizen living in Turkey, Haider al-Mashhadani, and through him, with Iranian intelligence agents.

Alkean, one of the largest property developers in the Negev Desert and one of the wealthiest members of the Bedouin community, is on the list of Telem, a now defunct party led by former Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon.

Alkin built his relationship with foreign contacts. He reportedly told al-Mashhadani that he was a member of Israel’s cabinet, which was incorrect, and relayed information he learned from the media, including about the Israeli security forces, the activities and whereabouts of Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz and the military deals between Israel and the United States, among others.

According to the indictment, Alkin did this in order to increase his value in the eyes of the Iranians and to get a return for the information provided to them.

The investigation revealed that at some point, Alkin asked to meet with other figures in Iraq, Jordan and Turkey, knowing they were working for Iran. The meetings never took place.

The indictment states that the accused deliberately contacted a foreign agent of Iran and has no reasonable explanation for his actions, which could harm the security of Israel.

On Saturday, Alkin was released from custody. For 20 days he was not allowed to speak to his lawyers.

His lawyers told the Beersheba District Court: “Despite the bombastic headline, this suspicion will end on a weak note. Our client is a loyal citizen of the State of Israel, and it is not for nothing that the court ruled to release him today. “


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