Lebanese Political Activist Detained and Accused of Dealing With Israel

According to local media reports, El-Khatib visited Israel by crossing from Jordan; court says she dealt with 'spies of the Israeli enemy'

Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
File photo: Lebanese police wear face masks as they walk together during a protest in Beirut, Lebanon April 23, 2020.
File photo: Lebanese police wear face masks as they walk together during a protest in Beirut, Lebanon April 23, 2020. Credit: MOHAMED AZAKIR/ REUTERS

A Lebanese political activist who was detained last week was charged on Monday with collaborating with Israel and referred to a military prosecutor, Lebanon's state-run news agency reported.

The National News Agency said Government Commissioner to the Military Court Judge Fadi Akiki charged Kinda El-Khatib with visiting Israel and “dealing with spies of the Israeli enemy.” The report added that the judge referred El-Khatib to a military investigative judge for questioning. The military judge is expected to issue a formal arrest warrant.

Lebanon and Israel are in a state of war and each bans its citizens from visiting the other country.

El-Khatib was detained last week with her brother, who was later released. According to local media reports, she had visited Israel by crossing from Jordan.

She has been active on social media, where she harshly criticized Lebanon's militant Hezbollah group and its strong ally, Lebanese President Michel Aoun. Hezbollah and Israel fought a month-long war in 2006.

Shortly before the charges were filed Monday, dozens rallied in Beirut demanding El-Khatib's release and saying that she was innocent.

The protesters say El-Khatib's case is similar to that of Ziad Itani, a Lebanese stage actor who was released in 2018 after being cleared of charges of collaborating with Israel. Itani spent about four months in prison.

Click the alert icon to follow topics:



Automatic approval of subscriber comments.
From $1 for the first month

Already signed up? LOG IN


Charles Lindbergh addressing an America First Committee rally on October 3, 1941.

Ken Burns’ Brilliant ‘The U.S. and the Holocaust’ Has Only One Problem

The projected rise in sea level on a beach in Haifa over the next 30 years.

Facing Rapid Rise in Sea Levels, Israel Could Lose Large Parts of Its Coastline by 2050

Tal Dilian.

As Israel Reins in Its Cyberarms Industry, an Ex-intel Officer Is Building a New Empire

Queen Elizabeth II, King Charles III and a British synagogue.

How the Queen’s Death Changes British Jewry’s Most Distinctive Prayer

Newly appointed Israeli ambassador to Chile, Gil Artzyeli, poses for a group picture alongside Rabbi Yonatan Szewkis, Chilean deputy Helia Molina and Gerardo Gorodischer, during a religious ceremony in a synagogue in Vina del Mar, Chile last week.

Chile Community Leaders 'Horrified' by Treatment of Israeli Envoy

Queen Elizabeth attends a ceremony at Windsor Castle, in June 2021.

Over 120 Countries, but Never Israel: Queen Elizabeth II's Unofficial Boycott