[QODLink]
Archive
Israel holds Nasrallah, the grocer
Hassan Nasrallah was briefly in Israel's hands, along with three members of his family and a neighbour.
Last Modified: 22 Aug 2006 14:09 GMT
Israel wanted information on Hezbollah leader Nasrallah
Hassan Nasrallah was briefly in Israel's hands, along with three members of his family and a neighbour.

Unfortunately for the embarrassed Israelis, he was the local green grocer - not the head of Lebanon's Hezbollah group.

Leah Tzemel, the Israeli lawyer who obtained their release on Monday, said Israel had snatched the four Nasrallahs and their neighbour on August 1 in a commando raid in the Hezbollah stronghold of Baalbek in northeastern Lebanon.

The army apparently believed he was related to Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah and could be used to pressure the leader.

Tzemel said: "He [the grocer] was brought here and interrogated and very quickly they understood that they were taken for no reason.

"Then they [the Israeli authorities] just put them in jail and held them."

The Israeli military had no immediate comment.

'Bargaining chip'

The Nasrallahs told Tzemel that 24 hours of questioning exclusively focused on any relation they might have to the Hezbollah leader.

The Nasrallahs were detained
during a raid on Baalbek

But Tzemel said it became clear to the Israeli security services that the five have no political or religious ties and are not related to the leader, who hails from southern Lebanon.

In an appeal early on Monday to Israel's supreme court, Tzemel said she argued that the Nasrallahs were being held "hostage to be used as a bargaining chip for negotiations".

By Monday afternoon, the Nasrallahs and their neighbour were driven to the Israel-Lebanon border and returned home, she said.

In all, 15 people were killed in fighting in the Baalbek area on the night of the raid.

Source:
Unspecified
Topics in this article
People
Country
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Your chance to be an investigative journalist in Al Jazeera’s new interactive game.
An innovative rehabilitation programme offers Danish fighters in Syria an escape route and help without prosecution.
Street tension between radical Muslims and Holland's hard right rises, as Islamic State anxiety grows.
Take an immersive look at the challenges facing the war-torn country as US troops begin their withdrawal.
Featured
Private citizens take initiative to help 'irregular' migrants, accusing governments of excessive focus on security.
Indonesia's cassava plantations are being killed by mealybugs, and thousands of wasps will be released to stop them.
Violence in Ain al-Arab has prompted many Kurdish Syrians to flee to Turkey, but others are returning to battle ISIL.
Unelected representatives quietly iron out logistics of massive TPP and TTIP deals among US, Europe, and Asia-Pacific.
Led by students concerned for their future with 'nothing to lose', it remains to be seen who will blink first.