Lebanon jails activist for 'collaborating' with Israel

Young activist who criticized Hezbollah sentenced to 3 years in prison and 'hard labor.'


Israel-Lebanon border
Israel-Lebanon border
Hadas Parush/Flash90

Lebanon's military prosecution on Monday sentenced an activist to three years in prison for "collaborating" with Israel and travelling to the Jewish state, a judicial source said.

Kinda al-Khatib, who is in her twenties, was arrested in June and charged with "collaborating with the enemy", "entering the occupied Palestinian territories" and "collaborating with spies of the Israeli enemy."

Lebanon is technically still at war with Israel and forbids its citizens from travelling there.

A United Nations peacekeeping force patrols the border area between the neighboring countries.

"The military court... issued a ruling imposing a three year prison sentence with hard labor on Kinda al-Khatib," said the judicial source, speaking on the condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to comment on the issue.

Prior to her arrest, Khatib on Twitter had criticized Hezbollah, a Lebanese Shiite terrorist movement that fought a devastating 2006 war with Israel.

Her family and activists have denounced her arrest as "political" because of her tweets against those in power.

Lebanese media and activists have drawn a parallel between Khatib's case and that of actor Ziad Itani, who was also accused of "collaborating" with Israel in 2017.

Itani was declared innocent and released several months later, and a high-ranking security officer was then charged with "fabricating" the case.

Hezbollah is the only party not to have disarmed after Lebanon's 1975-1990 civil war, since when it has also become a major player in Lebanese politics.