Crime and terrorism: During the current confrontation in Lebanon, Hezbollah again used the drug trade to collect intelligence in Israel

  • On July 21, the Israel Security Agency arrested an Israeli Bedouin, a resident of Beit Zarzir (on the Haifa-Nazareth road in the Galilee ) on suspicion of passing intelligence to Hezbollah for criminal purposes (smuggling drugs). According to the indictment issued against him on August 10 at the Nazareth District Court, about a month and a half before his arrest he had contacted a Lebanese drug dealer to buy drugs in the village of Ghajar for sale in Israel .

  • A number of days after the two IDF soldiers were abducted on July 12, the Lebanese drug dealer contacted the Israeli Bedouin and asked him to collect intelligence about IDF proceedings (for example, the procedures for sending the infantry into Lebanon) and where the Hezbollah’s K atyusha rockets had landed. The Lebanese drug dealer claimed that he had to provide Hezbollah with the information so that they would overlook his dealings and enable him to continue his drug trade . The Israeli Bedouin passed along the requested information which he collected, he claimed, by following the news.

  • The affair again illustrates how Hezbollah uses the Lebanese-Israeli drug trade to recruit agents in Israel and acquire intelligence about Israel . Thus, by exploiting its supervision and control of the Lebanese drug barons in the Beka’a Valley and south Lebanon , Hezbollah has woven a net of contacts with Israeli drug dealers and other criminals. 1

    • It should be remembered that in the past as well, Hezbollah used Israeli citizens, both Jewish and Arab, with criminal connections (especially drug dealers) for various purposes, including the collecting of intelligence. One of the most prominent affairs was the arrests of drug dealers living in the village of Ghajar (the same village as in the current affair) and in Kiriyat Shmona in January 2003. During interrogation they revealed that they had transmitted intelligence information and equipment to Lebanon , and at the same time smuggled small arms into Israel under the cover of smuggling drugs. 2

    • In addition, it is worthwhile noting that during the current confrontation, Hezbollah has given terrorist squads it operates in the Palestinian Authority, especially in Samaria, instructions to increase their terrorist activities, including suicide bombing attacks, to open a third front against Israel . So far, the attempts made to carry out those instructions have been foiled by the Israeli security force