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Palestine youth gets 9 years for hacking Israel drones

Palestine

JERUSALEM: A court in Israel on Thursday sentenced a Palestinian computer engineer from Gaza to nine years in jail for hacking into Israeli drones.

A transcript of the court proceedings released by the ministry said that Majid Oweida, a 23-year-old from Gaza City, had been convicted of spying and other offences, following a plea-bargain agreement earlier this week.

On Thursday, it said, the district court in the southern city of Beersheba passed sentence.

The transcript said Oweida admitted that in 2015 he agreed to develop software “to hack into and monitor broadcasts of pictures from the skies of Gaza” by Israeli military drones.

“In so doing, he entered a conspiracy to pass information to an enemy liable to assist it in harming (Israeli) state security.”

It said he was equipped with a laptop computer, a signal decoder and a satellite dish capable of receiving data from Israel’s Amos civilian communications satellite.

It added that after two failed attempts, he managed on the third try to hack into the drone transmissions “in real time… and full HD quality”.

The transcript said he also infiltrated the computer system of the interior ministry of Hamas, the dominant Islamist movement which rules Gaza.

Oweida was arrested in February 2016 as he travelled from Gaza to the West Bank for a broadcast of the “Super Star” Arabic-language TV singing contest.

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