Police have arrested a non-commissioned IDF officer for allegedly spying for Hizbullah. The NCO is suspected of passing on military information regarding the IDF's movements along the Lebanese border.
A senior Military Police officer said Wednesday that the NCO was contacted by a group of Israeli criminals known to police for their past involvement in drug-related crimes. The group asked the NCO to provide them with details regarding the IDF’s deployment along the border with Lebanon, from where they received the drugs that they smuggled into Israel.
After receiving intelligence, an undercover investigation was launched in January by the Galilee police sub district's Central Unit into the suspect's alleged activities. The Military Police was brought into the investigation at a later stage, police said.
The NCO, a resident of northern Israel, was then arrested on June 6. Police say he passed on critical information to Lebanese drug dealers associated with Hizbullah regarding IDF movements along the border in order to inform them of times when it would be safest to attempt the smuggling of narcotics into Israel.
During questioning, the NCO told police of the information he passed on to drug dealers in Lebanon.
Five other Israeli civilians have been arrested in the affair and another two are currently at large.
The additional suspects were arrested over the past two weeks, and have been named as brothers Salah and Osama Wahed, of the Druse village of Jedida, brothers Shadi and Jalal Gazawi, of the Druse village of Rama, Amir Abu-Yaman, of Rama, and Samir Farud, of Rama. Muhammad Taun, of Ablin, are said to be evading police efforts to apprehend them.
The Acre Magistrate's extended the custody of all of the civilian suspects twice this month, while the NCO's custody was extended twice by a military court.
The NCO will be charged in the coming days with passing on information to the enemy, and holding contacts with a foreign agent. He will also be charged with plotting and attempting to import drugs.
The remainder of the suspects will be charged with plotting to import drugs into the country
Dep.-Cmdr. Menachem Haver, head of Galilee police sub district, said the police's war against the drug trade is paying dividends, and stressed the shortage in the drugs market. He added that much remained to be done in the war against drug dealers.
The Israel Police deploys the elite Lebanon Border Special Drug Unit. Its camouflaged officers are tasked with lying in ambush along the northern frontier in order to intercept cross border drugs smuggling.
By YAAKOV KATZ AND YAAKOV LAPPIN