Jail (illustrative)
Jail (illustrative) Israel news photo: Flash 90

Omar al-Hayb, a former Lieutenant Colonel in the IDF who was convicted of espionage, was released from jail Tuesday. He had served less than 10 years out of the 15 year sentence originally meted on him.

Al Hayb, a Bedouin Arab, was arrested in 2002 on suspicion that he received drugs from a Lebanese citizen, and return gave him money, information about IDF troop movements in the north and information about the movements of then-Head of Northern Command, Gabi Ashkenazi. 

Al Hayb was an officer in the northern frontier's Trackers' Unit.

He was sentenced to 15 years in jail in 2006. The sentence was later reduced by two years, and his state of health was cited as the reason for his early release Tuesday.

A military court found him guilty of first degree espionage, contact with a foreign agent and drug dealing.