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Syrian authorities have reportedly arrested a Lebanese cleric last month while he was on his way to Saudi Arabia to perform the Omra, al-Akhbar daily reported Thursday.

According to local reports the cleric who was identified as Sheikh Hassan Msheymish, was arrested on July 7.

The cleric is reportedly a March 14 sympathizer and a Hezbollah critic.

Al-Akhbar quoted several Damascus visitors as saying that the arrest came upon suspicion that Msheymish was collaborating with Israel.

A high-ranking Lebanese security official has reportedly confirmed to AFP the arrest of Msheymish

“Msheymish was arrested in July in Syria based on data Lebanese police intelligence had sent to Syrian authorities indicating that he was implicated in collaborating with Israel,” the Lebanese official told AFP.

A Lebanese security source has reportedly told al-Akhbar that the man’s arrest was linked to a “highly sensitive” security file.

Al-Akhbar quoted Lebanese security sources as saying that the suspect admitted to investigators in Syria that he was collaborating with a foreign security apparatus.

More spies arrested

According to local reports Internal Security Forces (ISF) Intelligence Branch detained Thursday Ibrahim Hassan Noura and his son, Jaafar, in the southern town of Marjayoun on suspicion of collaborating with Israel.

The detainees were reportedly transferred to the Intelligence Branch in Saida for investigation.

Lebanon has filed a complaint to the United Nations over Israeli spy networks in the country, in the first such move against the Jewish state. Lebanon’s U.N. ambassador, Nawaf Salam, delivered copies of the complaint to Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and current president of the Security Council, Turkish ambassador Ertugrul Apakan.

A list comprising the names of more than 100 people who have been convicted or accused of spying for Israel was enclosed with the complaint.

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