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Hezbollah has reportedly requested the Lebanese authorities to keep an eye on foreigners coming from countries whose passports were used in the operation of assassinating Hamas top official Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in Dubai, according to Asharq al-Awsat newspaper

The Lebanese General Security Department at Rafik Hariri International Airport has started to tighten security measures for European passengers arriving in Beirut .

General Security Director Maj. Gen. Wafiq Jezzini told the newspaper that the general security is observing a list of Jewish family names, noting that “when someone arrives in Lebanon with a foreign passport and a surname that indicates a Jewish origin, the border crossing points are sending the passenger’s data to the central information office in the General Directorate of General Security that follows up on this person, especially that this person would have registered a temporary residence address in Lebanon.”

“We are following up on the inbound passengers and the individuals who receive them at the airport,” he added.

The newspaper noted that “no complaints from Irish or British nationals have been recorded so far about harassment upon arriving in Beirut.” However, the British foreign ministry confirmed “it will examine the situation,” adding that it would directly submit any complaints to the Lebanese government.

As to Ireland, it expressed its “deep concerns” against the new measures. An Irish foreign ministry spokesperson told the newspaper that “the issue now is the responsibility of the European Union,” adding that a meeting for the foreign affairs council was held last Monday to discuss immunizing European passports.

He stressed that the EU will decide “step by step” the necessary decisions in this regard, noting that the council has already condemned the usage of forged European passports in murdering al-Mabhouh, describing the incident as “deeply worrying.”

The spokesperson called for the cooperation of all concerned nations with the investigation opened by the Dubai police.

Twelve British, six Irish, four French, one German and three Australian passports were used by the suspects, according to Dubai police.

Hezbollah MP Hassan Fadlallah, who had raised the passports issue in the last parliamentary session, told Asharq al-Awsat :

“Lebanon has always been a target for Israeli security penetrations and the many operations that had taken place in the last years carried the Israeli fingerprints. Hence, the government has to take the necessary measures to preserve security and stability in the face of Israeli attempts,” he added, noting that “many Israelis had previously managed to enter Lebanon with European and non-European passports.”

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