BEIRUT, (AP) – A retired Lebanese general was arrested on suspicion of spying for Israel, a senior Lebanese security official said Tuesday.
The ex-general from the General Security Department of the Interior Ministry’s detention is among several arrests in recent months that appear to be part of a stepped up campaign in Lebanon against those suspected of gathering information on Hezbollah militants for Israel.
The security official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the case, said the retired general told interrogators he had worked for Israel for more than 10 years and regularly met with his Israeli contacts at European destinations. He also allegedly used the business he owned, which managed foreign domestic workers, as a cover for intelligence work, the official said.
Israeli government officials would not comment on the allegations. The man’s identity was not immediately clear.
The Lebanese security official said the ex-general had been under surveillance for three months and was arrested on Saturday. His wife also was questioned, he said. No other details were provided.
Lebanon considers itself at war with Israel and bans its citizens from having any contact with the Jewish state. Israel and Hezbollah fought a brutal 34-day war in Lebanon in 2006. More than 1,200 people in Lebanon — most of them civilians — and 159 in Israel died in the conflict.
Since the end of the fighting, Lebanese officials have alleged Israel continues to recruit and operate spies. Several arrests were disclosed in November and February.
Israel does not generally comment on Lebanese allegations of its spying activities.