Palestinian arrested for ‘spying for Israel’

Lebanese police have arrested a Palestinian refugee on suspicion he was spying for Israel’s Mossad intelligence agency, a police spokesman said on Friday.

“We have arrested a Palestinian from the refugee camp of Burj al-Shemali whom we suspect is spying for Israeli intelligence,” the spokesman told AFP on condition of anonymity.

“He had in his possession sophisticated communication devices and is currently being held for interrogation,” he added without giving further details.

Burj al-Shemali, one of Lebanon’s 12 refugee camps, is located approximately five kilometres (three miles) east of the southern coastal town of Tyre.

More than 70 people have been arrested in a nationwide crackdown on alleged Israeli spy rings launched in April 2009, some of them policemen and security officials.

A number of the arrests have been high-profile, including a retired member of the security services who was sentenced to death in February for spying and for his involvement in the murder of two Palestinian militant leaders.

Israel has made no public comment on any of the arrests.

Lebanon and Israel remain technically in a state of war, and convicted spies face life in prison with hard labour. They are given the death penalty if found guilty of contributing to Lebanese loss of life. AFP