A military court in Lebanon has handed death sentences to three men who were found guilty of spying for the Israeli intelligence service, Mossad.
The three were convicted of giving sensitive information to Mossad, repeatedly entering Israel, and receiving special training there in order to learn how to use telecommunications and photography equipment to spy.
Two of the men were tried in absentia. According to the court ruling, Jawdat al-Hakim, one of the convicted, had collaborated with Israel for nearly ten years, until his arrest in May 2009.
In April 2009, Lebanon — which has technically been in a state of war with Israel — launched a nationwide crackdown on Israeli spy cells arresting nearly 100 people, including members of the country’s security forces and telecommunications personnel, on suspicion of spying for Israel’s notorious intelligence service.
A number of the suspects have admitted to their role in helping Israel identify targets inside Lebanon, mostly belonging to Hezbollah, which Tel Aviv heavily bombed during its 2006 war against the country.
The most high-profile arrest came in August after Fayez Karam, a former army general and Christian Party politician, was charged with spying for Israel.
Karam, who was in charge of the Lebanese army’s anti-terrorism and counter-espionage unit in the 1980s, has been accused of meeting Mossad agents outside Lebanon and giving them information in exchange for money and weapons.
If convicted, the spies will face life sentences with hard labor. Should they be found guilty of contributing to the loss of Lebanese life, the agents will face the capital punishment.
The Tuesday ruling brought to eight the number of Lebanese sentenced to death for spying for the Mossad.