Lawyer of Accused Hezbollah Spy Says Police Wire-tapped Conversations

Israeli Arab Ameer Makhoul, a well known activist among Arab charities, is accused of communicating with Hezbollah agents.

The defense attorney for an Israeli Arab accused of spying for Hezbollah claimed on Thursday that police have been recording meetings between him and his client. He demanded that a criminal investigation be opened regarding the alleged wiretapping.

Ameer Makhoul, director general of the charity Ittijah (Union of Arab Community-Based Associations), was arrested in an overnight raid in April.

Makhoul's brother Assam, a former MK for Hadash, said he suspected authorities had singled out the Ameer because of his campaigns against the government's "racist and discriminatory polices" against Israeli Arabs.

The veteran activist is well-known among Arab charities and NGOs and is a regular participant in conference on discrimination in Israel and abroad and has been a virulent critic of government policy.

Makhoul was indicted a month ago on charges that he received a list from Hezbollah that included a request that he pass on information about specific military sites in northern Israel, their exact addresses, and security details about each site.

The indictment also says Makhoul was requested to report to his Hezbollah contacts about a production plant in the north, the Mossad office in central Israel, and a site in Haifa that was hit by Hezbollah rockets during the Second Lebanon War. Makhoul allegedly described specific weaknesses in Israel's military home front.