On Tuesday, a distress call was made to the Lebanese army, the urgent message was related to an Israeli presence in Lebanon. But no; it wasn’t about members of the Israeli Mossad or the Israeli Defense Force being caught red-handed, but in fact about a red pepper.
Members of the Lebanese military intelligence were called into a supermarket in the coastal city of Sidon when a shocked shopper found peppers produced in Israel on the store’s shelves.
The man, who remained anonymous in a report by the Daily Star Lebanon, contacted local authorities, who then contacted the Lebanese army, when he found the bag of mixed peppers sourced from Israel.
When military intelligence and police arrived at the supermarket, one of the largest retailers in the country, they reportedly discovered “13 similar bags that have the word ‘Israel’ printed on the sale tag”, the newspaper reported.
Police experts pointed out that the international bar code for the Israeli items was scratched with a pen and a new code was handwritten on the bag.
The Lebanese military judiciary is now investigating how the products passed through the customs department at the port or the airport.
Earlier this year it was reported that Israeli products are reaching Lebanon via indirect routes, bearing the brand names of American and European firms.
Laws in the country stipulate that Lebanese citizens are categorically forbidden to enter into business agreements, direct or indirect, with Israeli suppliers. This applies whether the supplier is a company or individual and whether they live in Israel or simply work for its benefit.
Also banned from Lebanon is any international company that has branches in Israel or commercial agreements with Israeli companies.