Israel charges east Jerusalem woman with aiding Hezbollah

JERUSALEM (AP) — An Israeli court on Friday charged a Palestinian woman from east Jerusalem with membership in a terrorist organization after Israel’s internal security service said the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah had recruited her five years ago.

Yasmine Jaber was arrested in early August. The Shin Bet internal security service said she was recruited by Hezbollah operatives at a conference in 2015 and asked to recruit others in east Jerusalem. It said she traveled to Istanbul on a number of occasions to meet Hezbollah operatives and communicated with them via social media.

Her family issued a statement denying the allegations. They said the length of her interrogation and the fact that Israel has not named any other members of the alleged cell show that the allegations are false.

Israel views Hezbollah as its most immediate military threat. The two sides fought to a devastating stalemate in 2006. Since then, Hezbollah has vastly expanded its arsenal of rockets and is now believed to be able to strike virtually anywhere in Israel.

Israel captured east Jerusalem in the 1967 war and annexed it shortly thereafter. Israel considers the entire city to be its unified capital, while the Palestinians want east Jerusalem to be the capital of their future state.

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