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.
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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.