Lebanese actor arrested for 'communicating' with Israelis

Lebanese authorities interrogating writer and actor Ziad Itani on suspicions of communicating with Israelis, thus breaking local laws.

Contact Editor
Elad Benari, Canada,

Lebanon-Israel border
Lebanon-Israel border
Hadas Parush/Flash 90

Lebanese authorities are interrogating writer and actor Ziad Itani on suspicions that he broke the law by "communicating" with Israelis, a judicial source told the AFP news agency on Friday.

Lebanon, which technically remains at war with Israel, upholds a boycott of Israeli products and of contact with its nationals.

Itani, who is in his early 40s, was detained late Thursday based on "information he was communicating with Israeli people", the source told AFP, speaking on condition of anonymity.

"Itani is now being interrogated so we can see whether there really was communication, and if so, what kind," the source added.

The actor, writer and comedian has shot to prominence in recent years because of a series of comedy plays on Lebanese capital Beirut, its customs and the transformations it has undergone in recent decades.

Before becoming an actor, Itani worked as a reporter with Lebanon's Al-Mayadeen television channel and with various regional newspapers.

Reports of arrests in Lebanon of suspected collaborators or spies for Israel are nothing out of the ordinary.

In October, the Hezbollah-affiliated television network Al-Manar reported that Lebanese security forces had arrested three Lebanese men suspected of collaborating with Israel.

According to the report, the three admitted that they had been in contact with Israeli officers and agents.

In January, Lebanon’s security services claimed they had arrested a spy ring comprised of five people who allegedly “spied for Israeli embassies abroad”.

In 2015, Lebanese authorities announced they had arrested two Lebanese nationals and a Syrian on allegations of spying for Israel.

The three were identified only by their initials. There were no details on exactly when or where the three were detained.

Several weeks later, Lebanese media reported that soldiers had detonated a "listening device" allegedly planted by Israel in the southern Marjayoun region, close to the border with the Jewish state.

(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)








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