Israeli diver who drifted into Lebanon to return home

Ahmed Daif, an Israeli Arab, was questioned by Lebanese forces and Hezbollah

Illustrative photo of a diver (photo credit: CC-BY photohome_uk, Flickr)
Illustrative photo of a diver (photo credit: CC-BY photohome_uk, Flickr)

Ahmed Jamal Daif, an Israeli Arab who has been held by Lebanon for approximately six months, is set to be returned home Thursday. The International Red Cross confirmed that the exchange will happen at the Rosh Hanikra border crossing.

Daif, 33, who is from the village Ara, drifted into Lebanese water in September. It is unclear whether he was accidentally carried by the tide or whether he purposely swam past the maritime border. He was found in a diving suit at the southern Lebanese border town of Naqoura.

He was then handed over to Lebanese forces and Hezbollah for interrogation. They were trying to ascertain whether he was spying for Israel.

Daif’s mother, Nihad, reportedly learned of her son’s arrest after watching Al-Manar, Hezbollah’s TV station. She then approached Knesset members for help. She also wrote letters to Lebanese authorities, declaring her son is not a spy.

The family was told Daif was visited in jail by Red Cross representatives.

Daif worked as a chef at a restaurant in Netanya, according to his brother, Ashams. He was going through an emotional breakdown, Ashams said in a radio interview, but contended that he was not linked to political activities.


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