Hezbollah in Lebanon is trying to recruit Israeli civilians to carry out terrorist activities, according to the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency).
The Hezbollah cell, as well as the identity of Hezbollah detainees and recruits, was discovered following the June 6 arrest of two Israeli civilians from the northern Arab town of Majd el-Kurum and their subsequent interrogation by the Shin Bet.The investigation found that Beirut Hamud, a female Israeli citizen from Majd el-Kurum and currently living in Lebanon with her husband, Bilal Bizari, has been operating on behalf of Hezbollah, a Shi’ite terrorist organization. Hamud and Bizari work for Al-Ahkbar newspaper, which is affiliated with Hezbollah. As part of their work for Hezbollah, she and her husband recruit Israelis, the Shin Bet said.According to the Shin Bet, Hamud had been interrogated by security forces in 2013 on suspicion of contacting Hezbollah activists she had met at a conference in Morocco in 2008 and a conference in Tunisia in 2012. Following the 2013 interrogation, she moved to Lebanon, where she married Bizari.Last December, Hamud met with two Arab-Israeli women in Turkey who were later interrogated by the Shin Bet on suspicion that during the visit, an attempt was made by Hamud and her husband to recruit them into Hezbollah.As part of the investigation, the two women were verified to have met with Hamud. Information about the meeting in Turkey was also confirmed, as well as how Hezbollah operates through Hamud and her husband to recruit Israelis.After the investigation was completed, the two women were released under restrictive conditions.As part of counterterrorism efforts, the Shin Bet said it contacted Bizari in Lebanon, warning him that Israel knows they are recruiting for Hezbollah, and despite their press credentials, they should cease their attempts to recruit Israel civilians.
“The Shin Bet will continue to work resolutely to monitor and thwart any espionage or terrorist activities by Hezbollah,” it said in a statement, stressing “the great severity attributed to the exploitation of Israeli citizenship in the aid of terrorist and espionage activities.”