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Did IDF officer spy for Hezbollah?

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    IDF officer jailed for 15 years for spying for Hezbollah, drug dealing By Yuval Azoulay and Amos Harel, Haaretz Correspondents, and Agencies 18/06/2006
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 6, 2006
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      IDF officer jailed for 15 years for spying for Hezbollah, drug dealing
      By Yuval Azoulay and Amos Harel, Haaretz Correspondents, and Agencies
      18/06/2006
      http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/728243.html


      A military court on Sunday sentenced Lieutenant Colonel Omar Al-Hayeb
      to 15 years in prison, after he was found guilty of spying for the
      Lebanese militant group Hezbollah and drug trafficking.

      The former tracker for the Northern Command continued to claim his
      innocence after the verdict was handed down, charging that he had been
      framed and was a victim of persecution because he is an Arab.

      "I didn't confess, I won't confess," Al-Hayeb told reporters. "I
      didn't do anything. The only reason they are coming after me is
      because I am an Arab."

      One of his attorneys, Barry Rosenthal, said his client would appeal
      the conviction and sentence.

      Al-Hayeb, a resident of the Bedouin village of Beit Zarzir, was
      arrested in 2002 as a result of a wide-ranging investigation into
      drug-smuggling. The six-month investigation also led to the arrests of
      18 other IDF soldiers, some of them career soldiers.

      Al-Hayeb had been in contact with Lebanese drug-dealing figures with
      the intention of smuggling drugs into Israel.

      At a certain stage Al-Hayeb agreed to a request made by a Lebanese
      friend to meet with Hezbollah representatives. The meeting, which
      would have taken place in Jordan and Saudi Arabia, never took place.

      Hezbollah said at the time of the indictment that it was "not obliged
      to confirm or deny" the spying reports.

      Security officials involved in the investigation say their suspicions
      were backed up by Al-Hayeb's eventual confession. The tracker was on
      his way to a meeting on the Lebanese border when he was arrested.

      Al-Hayeb was carrying classified military maps, a list of IDF
      communications frequencies and night-vision goggles when he was
      detained. It is suspected Al-Hayeb planned to hand these items over to
      Hezbollah in exchange for money or drugs that he could then sell.

      As the highest-ranking Bedouin officer in the IDF, Al-Hayeb was
      frequently cited as an example of advancement possibilities for
      Israeli Arabs who serve in the military.

      He was himself gravely wounded by a Hezbollah roadside bombing while
      serving in Lebanon in 1996. Surgeons had to remove one of his eyes.
      The injuries left him partially paralyzed and with shards of metal
      still lodged in his head.

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