A masked Lebanese police officer shows a device us.
(photo credit: AP)
A Lebanese military court has sentenced a man to life in prison for spying for Israel and giving it information about Hizbullah, judicial officials said.
The man, Faisal Maklad, was also sentenced for entering Israel and using forged documents, added the officials. They said that he denied transporting Israeli agents to and from Lebanon.
Maklad, who is in custody, can appeal Saturday's verdict.
Lebanon considers itself at a state of war with Israel and bans any kind of contact with Israeli citizens or visits to the country.
Lebanese authorities have made dozens of arrests of people suspected of collaborating with Israel in recent months and filed preliminary charges.
The names and detailed biographical information of 22 of the suspects were published in Lebanon's As-Safir newspaper on Tuesday.
As-Safir also said that according to the confessions of seven out of the 22, Israel's primary goal after the Second Lebanon War was to destroy Hizbullah and kill its leader, Hassan Nasrallah. Israel increased its espionage inside Lebanon after it failed to destroy Hizbullah in 2006, the paper claimed.
It went on to say that Jerusalem had hoped to gain intelligence on Hizbullah and Iranian activity in Lebanon, and the Lebanese spies were in constant and direct contact with Israeli intelligence officers, according to the confessions. The spies were also used to reactivate dormant Israeli spy networks inside Lebanon, As-Safir said.
The arrest campaign that began in April has seen more than 70 people taken into custody, including 37 Lebanese, two Palestinians and an Egyptian, Zawya.com reported on Wednesday. The arrests began when a Lebanese general and two Lebanese colonels were arrested on espionage charges. A third colonel is believed to have escaped to Israel.
The detained colonels and other suspects are accused of working with Israel in the assassination of top Hizbullah commander Ghalib Awali in 2004.
Alex Sorin contributed to this report