Lebanese actor charged with spying for Israel

A Lebanese actor is being charged with collecting intelligence on internal affairs on behalf of the Mossad. 

By: AP and World Israel News Staff

Lebanon’s chief military prosecutor has indicted Ziad Itani, a Lebanese actor and writer, on charges of collaborating with Israel and possessing drugs.

The prosecutor’s statement Thursday came nearly a week after Itani’s arrest. Itani was accused of collaborating with an Israeli female spy to collect information about Lebanese politicians and journalists.

The case has gripped Lebanon at a time of heightened domestic tension over the resignation of the Saudi-backed Prime Minister Saad Hariri.

According to interrogation leaks, Itani has reportedly collaborated with a Mossad agent to gather information about political developments following Hariri’s resignation, and specifically about an ally of the prime minister. Itani has apparently admitted to the charges.

Lebanon’s al-Manar news reported that Itani’s actions span over a long period of time, and that after several months of monitoring and investigations within and outside Lebanon, a specialized unit of the State Security managed to confirm the alleged offenses against Itani.

No trial date has been set.

Reports of Israel’s alleged espionage efforts in Lebanon have surfaced in the past. It is understood that Israel conducts surveillance of Iranian trained and funded Hezbollah terrorists in Lebanon in order to protect the Jewish state from attacks.

More than 100 people in Lebanon have been arrested since 2009 on suspicion of collaborating with the Jewish state.

Lebanon and Israel are formally at war and collaborating with Israel can be punishable by death, and merely traveling to Israel is considered a crime.

Lebanese film director Ziad Doueiri was briefly detained by Lebanese authorities in September because of his visits to Israel.