The daily Al Liwaa on Monday printed an image of Gal Gadot on its front page, captioning it as “the Israeli Mossad officer Collette Vianfi,” a supposed agent in Israel’s international spy agency who reportedly recruited and was working with Lebanese actor and playwright Ziad Itani.
Itani was arrested on Friday on charges of “collaborating” with Israel and gathering information on political figures.
He was detained “after several months of monitoring, follow-up and investigations within and outside” Lebanon, said the State Security Directorate General, in a statement carried by Lebanon’s National News Agency.
The Al Liwaa caption beneath the front page picture reads: “The Israeli Mossad officer Collette Vianfi who recruited Ziad Itani.”
According to the Al Liwaa report, the photograph had circulated on social media in connection with the spy case. Hours before the Lebanese daily published its report, some social media users had begun sharing the photo of Gadot, absurdly claiming it was a picture of the alleged agent Vianfi.
The photo is a publicity still of Gadot’s character in 2011’s “Fast Five,” the fifth installment of the “Fast and the Furious” franchise.
The Al Liwaa report said Vianfi was meant to visit Itani in Beirut this week, but the plan was canceled after the Lebanese actor’s arrest.
The daily later said the use of Gadot’s picture was the result of an “unintended technical error” and apologized for its use.
This summer, Lebanon issued a last-minute ban on showing Gadot’s “Wonder Woman” in accordance with a decades-old law prohibiting Israeli products and contact with Israelis.
Gadot performed two years of compulsory army service in the Israeli Defense Forces after being crowned Miss Israel 2004. There is no indication she works for the Mossad.
AFP contributed to this report.
Editor’s note: This story has been updated to clarify that the Lebanese daily did not name Gal Gadot but mistakenly used her photo with a caption naming a purported Mossad agent.