Lebanon says Syrian who ‘phoned’ Israel arrested

BEIRUT: Lebanese authorities have arrested a Syrian national accused of having made phone calls to neighbouring Israel, with which Lebanon remains technically at war, 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.

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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 2006, Hezbollah fought a month-long war with Israel that devastated parts of Lebanon.

The conflict killed more than 1,200 people in Lebanon, mostly civilians, and around 160 Israelis, most of them soldiers.

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.

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© Agence France-Presse

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