IDF NCO Suspected of Passing Information to Hizbullah

An NCO in the IDF is suspected of passing sensitive information to Hizbullah during the Second Lebanon War as part of a drug smuggling operation.

Nissan Ratzlav-Katz ,

IDF soldiers on patrol
IDF soldiers on patrol
IDF Spokesman

A non-commissioned officer in the IDF is suspected of passing militarily sensitive information to Hizbullah during the Second Lebanon War as part of a drug smuggling operation. The NCO was allegedly operating with two other Israeli Arabs. A Haifa District Military Court lifted a blackout of the story on Monday.
The suspect NCO was recruited into the drug-smuggling ring because of his knowledge of IDF patrols.

The NCO, an army tracker from the Arab village of Fassuta in the north of the country, is suspected of passing information on IDF troop movements to Hizbullah, police announced Monday. The NCO was arrested one month ago, along with a 30-year-old resident of Nazareth, suspected of being the ringleader, and a 26-year-old resident of Tuba-Zanghariya. The three are suspected of operating a criminal enterprise ring that smuggled and distributed drugs from Lebanon in Israel.

In order to facilitate smuggling by his collaborators on the Lebanese side of the border, according to police, the tracker revealed information on IDF troop movements. The information allegedly leaked to Lebanese smugglers and to Hizbullah forces included the location and frequency of IDF patrols. Police say most of the smuggling was done in and around Kfar Rajar, which straddles the border.

According to police, the suspect NCO was recruited into the drug-smuggling ring because of his knowledge of IDF patrols. He allegedly subsequently betrayed IDF movements to Lebanese elements in exchange for money.

The Nazareth man accused of being the head of the smuggling network was caught red-handed earlier this month, along with his accomplice from the Galilee village ofTuba-Zanghariya. About a month ago, police found that the two drug-conspirators had approximately two kilograms of heroin in their car. The drug haul had an estimated worth of one million shekels on the Israeli street.

The two primary suspects were formally charged in Nazareth District Court on Monday, while the NCO faces still further questioning by IDF officers.


In a possibly related bust from early March, police found hundreds of bullets in Tuba-Zanghariyah. Some of the confiscated bullets were meant for use in an M-16 assault rifle, while others were meant for a handgun. Police also found part of an anti-tank missile, IDF maps and drugs. One suspect was arrested at the time.

Other Smugglers Interdicted Last Month
In mid-February, police arrested seven IDF soldiers, most of them Bedouin trackers.

In mid-February, police arrested seven IDF soldiers, most of them Bedouin trackers, on suspicion of involvement in a drug smuggling ring that imported drugs from Jordan. The seven served near the Jordanian border at the time of their arrest; two of the suspects are career soldiers.

The soldiers were are suspected of abusing their positions in order to bring drugs over the Jordanian border. Investigators found large quantities of drugs during their investigation, including 24 kilograms of hashish, 1.5 kilograms of heroin and 500 Ecstasy tablets.

Earlier in the month, IDF soldiers opened fire on two Lebanese men as they attempted to infiltrate Israel near the village of Rajar. One of the men was killed and the second was seriously wounded.

IDF spokesmen said the men had been attempting to smuggle drugs. Members of the United Nations peacekeeping force in Lebanon, UNIFIL, urged Israeli soldiers to "show maximum restraint."





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