Two Bedouin men charged with spying for Hezbollah during war
Drug dealer, IDF tracker from Jezreel Valley arrested for initiating contact, reporting on rocket hits, army movements.
The Nazareth District Court on Thursday received a charge sheet against an Israeli citizen suspected of spying for Hezbollah in wartime.
Riyad Mzarib, 30, of the Bedouin village of Beit Zarzir in the Jezreel Valley was charged with conspiring to assist the enemy in wartime, holding contacts with a foreign agent, delivering information to the enemy and conspiring to smuggle and sell drugs.
The initial contact between Mzarib and his Lebanese partner was established last June by an Israel Defense Forces tracker who is also a resident of Beit Zarzir. The tracker has been arrested and is being interrogated.
Valleys District Police arrested Mzarib three weeks ago. According to Commander Yaakov Zigdon, the suspect confessed to having delivered to Lebanese drugs dealer reports on the movements of IDF forces and the location of missile hits in the north. Mzarib's attorney said his client only admits to the drug offenses with which he was charged.
According to suspicion, Mzarib also planned with his Lebanese partner to traffic drugs via the border village of Ghajar, but their plan never materialized. The two stopped communicating on July 12, when the conflict with Hezbollah broke out, but the Lebanese contact Mzarib three days later. Since then, the suspect called his Lebanese partner many times and was asked to provide information for Hezbollah on the pretext that these reports would allow them to smuggle more drugs into Israel.
Mzarib gave his Lebanese partner a cellular phone and was told he can always report on army movements on the border and on the location of rocket hits. In one instance the suspect reported the location of rockets that landed in Jezreel Valley and also on the attack that left two children dead in Nazareth. The suspect also promised his partner he would provide information on the army.
The suspect was asked to purchase a powerful anesthetic but Mzarib was unable to obtain it because it is only sold to veterinarians.
Commander Zigdon said that the combination of drugs trade and selling sensitive information on Israeli defense forces is very problematic. "Drug dealers are controlled by Hezbollah in order to compromise Israel's national security," he said.