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Israeli spying sisters arrested in Lebanon

Hezbollah media say one of them voted in election

Lebanese internal security forces arrested two Israeli sisters at Beirut’s international airport as they tried to leave the country after one of them voted in Sunday’s parliamentary election, a Hezbollah-affiliated website and TV station reported late Wednesday.

Sisters Josephine Moussa, 67, and Georgette, 69, entered Lebanon with Lebanese passports shortly before the hotly contested parliamentary elections but they reportedly lived in Israel and held Israeli passports, according to the media reports. Josephine was also said to possess an American passport.

The American embassy told Al Arabiya it had no information about the incident and did not know whether Josephine had contacted the embassy.

According to Hezbollah’s Al Manar satellite TV station, Georgette reportedly admitted to voting in a Beirut district in the elections that saw the pro-Western March 14 alliance retain its hold on the majority.

After a preliminary investigation, a Lebanese Military Court judge ordered that the sisters be transferred to the Lebanese Internal Security's intelligence branch.

According to the report, the judge made his decision after information in the sisters' travel documents and other papers were found to be contradictory, and after it was discovered that Georgette's Israeli passport stated that her original nationality was Jordanian.

The arrests came amid a wave of crackdowns on alleged Israeli spy networks in Lebanon that has resulted in several arrests.

More spies arrested

Military Prosecutor Saqr Saqr said Wednesday he had charged 10 suspects with aiding Israeli forces by providing them with sensitive information on Lebanese civilians and military targets and about key political leaders in the country.

The prosecutor said the network, which included an Egyptian by the name of Mohamed Said Radwan and four other Arabs, was the biggest spy network case he had handled.

According to the report two of the suspects, Fawzi and Said al-Alam were instructed by the Israeli intelligence to monitor the residence and movement of Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea.

The suspects were also instructed to provide surveillance reports on March 14 coalition leader Saad Hariri when he visited Geagea.