Lawyer: Israeli convicted of spying for Hizbullah to be deported to Lebanon

An Israeli citizen convicted of spying for Hizbullah will be deported to Lebanon next week, his lawyer and Red Cross officials said Wednesday. Nasim Nisr, a 39-year old Israeli citizen of Lebanese descent, was jailed in 2002 for six years. He will be released on Sunday and escorted from Israel to the Lebanon border. The deportation comes amid rumors of a prisoner swap between Israel and Hizbullah, which would include the return of two IDF soldiers captured in 2006, and the longest-serving Lebanese prisoner in Israel, Samir Kuntar. Nisr's lawyer said the deportation could be an opening move toward a wider prisoner exchange between Israel and Hizbullah guerrillas. However, Israeli government officials denied any connection between the two deals and Hizbullah has not commented on the issue.