Soldier suspected of aiding Hizbullah

NCO allegedly gave info on troop movements to people tied to group as part of drug smuggling effort.

A two-month-long undercover police investigation into cross-border drug smuggling from Lebanon into Israel led to the arrest last month of an IDF non-commissioned officer, along with two of the smuggling ring's leaders, Galilee Police announced on Monday. The career serviceman, 35, is in the custody of the Military Police's elite Special Investigations Unit, which is working with the Israel Police and the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency). He is suspected of providing sensitive security information on IDF troop movements on the border with Lebanon to elements tied to Hizbullah, Galilee Police spokesman Eran Shaked told The Jerusalem Post. "What we know is that he contacted people in Lebanon, some of who are associated with Hizbullah, to provide them with details of army movements as part of an effort to secure the cross-border smuggling effort," Shaked said. "He helped in making deals with elements in Lebanon," he added. The NCO was recruited by the ring's leaders, Abed Zuabi, 30, a Nazareth resident, and Shir Hayev, 26, of the northern village of Tuba. They offered the officer money in exchange for the security assistance. The two civilians were caught with two kilograms of heroin in their vehicles, estimated to be worth NIS 1 million, and will be charged with drug smuggling offenses at the Nazareth District Court on Tuesday, police said. Police used an undercover agent to infiltrate the smuggling ring, who was offered $2,500 by Zuabi for each kilogram of heroin successfully smuggled into the country. The court had prohibited the media from publishing further details on the IDF officer, though more details would be released in the coming days, Shaked said.