Two Israeli Arab Sisters Released From Lebanon Arrest

Pair, both in their sixties, were arrested in Beirut airport en route to U.S., one voted in Lebanon election.

Lebanese security forces released on Thursday two Israeli Arab sisters, both in their sixties, who had been arrested in Beirut's airport.

The pair, Josephine Mussa, 67, and Georgette Nasser, 69, were reportedly en route to the United States, where Josephine lives, at the time of their arrest. They returned to Nasser's home in Jerusalem.

According to the Web site, the Lebanese security officials discovered the women's Israeli passports during a search of their baggage.

A preliminary investigation revealed that the pair had arrived in Lebanon a few days before Sunday's national election, the report said, in which one of the sisters actually voted in a Maronite neighborhood in Beirut.

Georgette Mussa reportedly lives in Israel; her passport, however, listed her as originally having had Jordanian citizenship. The report further stated that she had a Lebanese passport, in addition to the Israeli one.

The pair were later handed over to the same security unit that reportedly uncovered an Israeli spy ring in Lebanon over recent months, the Web site said.

Lebanese law prohibits the country's citizens from visiting Israel and from holding any form of contact with Israelis. The reported incident is not the first of its kind; in September 2007, Israeli citizen Daniel Sharon was arrested in Lebanon on suspicion of involvement in a murder, after entering the country on a German passport. He was freed about three weeks later after the German Foreign Ministry took up his case.