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Middle East
Lebanon plans 'spying' complaint
Cabinet agrees to ask United Nations to investigate alleged Israeli espionage.
Last Modified: 22 Jul 2010 07:13 GMT
Nasrallah has promised a "major announcement" during a Thursday evening press conference [AFP]

Lebanon plans to file a complaint about Israeli "espionage" at the United Nations, according to the country's information minister.

More than 50 people have been arrested since an investigation was launched into allegations of spying by Israeli agents inside Lebanon in April 2009.

Tareq Mitri said the Lebanese cabinet agreed to present a "detailed report" to the UN Security Council later this week.

Two employees from the state-owned Alfa phone company have been arrested during the last month. The two men, both technicians, could face the death penalty if convicted of spying.

Three other people have already been sentenced to death for espionage.

'Complete control'

The spying investigation has particularly unnerved Hezbollah, which fought a two-month war with Israeli forces in 2006.

One of the men sentenced to death this month, Hassan Ahmed al-Hussein, was convicted of giving Israel the names and addresses of Hezbollah officials in the southern village of Qantara.

Another man, Ali Manstash, was given the death penalty last week for giving Israel the locations of military targets during the 2006 war.

Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of Hezbollah, claimed earlier this month that Israel has "complete control" over Lebanon's telecommunications infrastructure.

He suggested that Israel would try to plant evidence to influence the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, the United Nations panel investigating the assassination of Rafiq al-Hariri, Lebanon's former prime minister.

Al-Hariri's supporters, meanwhile, have accused Hezbollah of trying to interfere with the tribunal.

Nasrallah is expected to hold a press conference at 8:30pm Beirut time (17:30 GMT) on Thursday. Hezbollah has promised a "major announcement," but the group has not revealed any details.

Source:
Al Jazeera and agencies
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