A group of women who were accused by the General Security Service in the course of 2022 of spying for the benefit of Iran were acquitted by the Jerusalem District Court. Only one out of the five was convicted of a reduced charge of contact with a foreign agent.
The situation exploded when the General Security Service claimed that it had uncovered and thwarted an Iranian recruitment mechanism targeting Israeli women of Persian origin to provide information to an Iranian entity in exchange for payment. The General Security Service asserted that the women maintained ongoing contacts with Iranian intelligence operatives who posed as Israelis. However, the court has now decided to acquit all the women involved in the case.
The court further added and stated in the summary of the verdict that: "There is no doubt that these are Zionist individuals who love the country, and there was no intention on their part, at any stage, to harm the security of the state." Additionally, the verdict noted that at no point did the women act knowingly and emphasized: "There is no dispute that the initial contact of defendants 1 and 4 with the person alleged to be a foreign agent was without knowing his identity, and certainly not with the intention of establishing contact with a foreign agent, and certainly not with the intention of jeopardizing national security."
Furthermore, in the summary of the verdict, the judges determined that the motives of the women were personal and not necessarily for the purpose of commercial information exchange for monetary gain, as suggested by the General Security Service. The court emphasized in the verdict: "These are women who sought warmth and love, a sympathetic ear, and sometimes even financial assistance." Additionally, the judges were uncertain about the women's responsibility for the situation, as indicated in the judgment: "Rambood (the Iranian intelligence agent with whom they established contact) exploited this with his cunning, wove a long-lasting connection with them, and through shrewd manipulation, managed to utilize them for his purposes."
Only one out of the five suspects was convicted, and even she was convicted of a highly reduced offense of contact with a foreign agent. The woman in question worked for a municipality in the central part of the country. She shared information with Rambood, who urged her to share pictures of her workplace and the municipal building itself. Later, he even convinced her to establish a club for Persian women in the city, and she agreed to his requests, leading to her conviction for the offense.