Lebanon arrests Syrian for making phone calls to Israel
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Lebanon arrests Syrian for making phone calls to Israel

Suspect accused of ‘communicating with Israelis present in the occupied Palestinian territories’

A view of the border with Israel, from the southern Lebanese village of Kafr Kila, with Israeli vehicles driving on the right side and UN and Lebanese vehicles driving on the left, on December 4, 2018. (Ali Dia/AFP)
A view of the border with Israel, from the southern Lebanese village of Kafr Kila, with Israeli vehicles driving on the right side and UN and Lebanese vehicles driving on the left, on December 4, 2018. (Ali Dia/AFP)

Lebanese authorities have arrested a Syrian national accused of having made phone calls to neighboring Israel, the army said Friday.

An army statement said the suspect, who was not identified, was referred to court for “contacting Israeli phone numbers and communicating with Israelis present in the occupied Palestinian territories.” It did not elaborate.

Lebanon is home to tens of thousands of Syrian refugees who fled the war raging in their country.

In August, tensions spiked between Lebanon and Israel after two drones packed with explosives were sent into the Beirut bastion of the Shiite movement Hezbollah.

Iran-backed Hezbollah and the Lebanese army accused Israel of being behind the drone launch.

Lebanon’s government and Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah both described the apparently botched operation as an act of aggression.

A few days after the August 25 drone incident in Beirut, the army opened fire on Israeli drones flying over southern Lebanon.

In March, Lebanese intelligence said it arrested a Lebanese-Canadian dual national on suspicion of spying for Israel.

In 2017, Lebanon detained for questioning French-Lebanese director Ziad Doueiri for partly filming his movie “The Attack” in Israel.

The movie was banned in Lebanon which also bans its citizens from visiting Israel.

Lebanon and Israel remain technically in a state of war, with occasional skirmishes along their shared border.

In 2006, a Hezbollah attack on an Israeli border patrol sparked a month-long war with the Jewish state that devastated parts of Lebanon.

Hezbollah, a terror group that forms part of the Lebanese government and holds sway over much of Lebanon’s southern border region, is funded and armed by its patron Iran.

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