GSS arrests Hizballah espionage suspect

Sunday, August 13, 2006 |  by Staff Writer
It has been cleared for publication that Israel's General Security Service and the Israeli Police have arrested a resident of Beit Zarzir, who confessed to giving a Lebanese drug dealer working for Hizballah, information about Israeli army maneuvers, military plans for action in Lebanon, and locations of missile hits in Israel.

The suspect, Riad Mastafa Abdallah Mazrib, 30, of the Bedouin village of Beit Zarzir in the lower Galilee, confessed in a GSS and police interrogation that a month and a half before his arrest he began contacts with a Lebanese drug dealer for the purpose of buying them in the border village of Rajar and selling them in Israel.

A few days after the kidnapping of the Israeli soldiers on the northern border and the beginning of fighting against Hizballah in Lebanon, the Lebanese dealer called Mazrib and asked him about the updated activities of the IDF in the north, the possibilities of a ground offensive, and about the locations of missile hits in Israel.

Mazrib also said during his interrogation that the Lebanese dealer explained he needed information about the situation in Lebanon so he could pass it on to Hizballah, so they could allow him to smuggle the drugs into Israel.

Mazrib confessed that he told the Lebanese dealer that based on what he saw in the media, the Israeli army is concentrating on air strikes, and said that if he knew of a ground offensive he would let him know.

In addition to this conversation, Mazrib held other conversations with the Lebanese dealer telling him when ground forces are due to enter Lebanon and the size of the force, the possibility of air insertion, and the missile hits in the town of Givat Ela and Nazareth, where two children were killed. In addition he told the Lebanese that the residents of southern Lebanon were asked to leave their homes because the IDF is going to hit Hizballah forces who are hiding in residents' homes and are firing missiles against Israel.

In one of the conversations, the Lebanese dealer asked Mazrib if he had any connections with anyone in the military and asked if he himself served in the army. Mazrib replied that he had not served in the army and he has no contacts in the army, but he would check out the subject.

During the Israel Defense Forces bombings in Lebanon, the dealer asked Mazrib what was the purpose of the balloon they see in the air. In response Mazrib said that the purpose of the balloon is to photograph the area and assist the IDF with the bombings.

Mazrib added that all of the information he passed on to Hizballah was collected from watching the news and denied gathering information in any other way.

Mazrib was indicted on Thursday in the regional courthouse in Nazareth.

The recruitment of Mazrib for the purpose of passing information on the platform of drug dealing is one of the methods used by Hizballah.

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