Spying
Spying iStock

Lebanon's security forces said on Monday they had busted at least 17 suspected Israeli spy networks in one of the largest nationwide crackdowns in recent years, the Xinhua news agency reported, citing state-run National News Agency (NNA).

Those networks operated both "locally and regionally," Lebanese Interior Minister Bassam Mawlawi was quoted as having said.

He did not go into detail about the operation or the number of people arrested during the operation conducted by the Internal Security Forces.

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

In October of 2018, 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 2017, 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.

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.