27 Israelis Arrested for Drug & Weapons Trafficking for Hezbollah

Pro-Hizbollah Rally in Sakhnin

Israeli security forces announced on Thursday the arrests of 27 Israeli Arabs suspected of drug dealing for Hezbollah. The arrests, carried out by the General Security Service (GSS) and the Israel Police, followed weeks of widespread investigation into smuggling activities conducted between Israeli and Lebanese dealers that involved the transfer of drugs and money across the border, as well as the procurement of information to the terror organization.

The investigation aimed at shedding light on the movements of the drug traffickers operating under Hezbollah’s direction in both countries, and at stopping the operation at its beginning stages, before it had a chance to escalate. A number of Israeli citizens were targeted for drug trafficking and for having direct contact with drug dealers in southern Lebanon known Hezbollah ties.

The GSS investigation revealed a connection between these suspects and George Nimer, a Christian Arab resident of Marjaayun in southern Lebanon, known to police as a drug dealer and Hezbollah agent. The suspects served messengers Hezbollah, transported drugs to Nimer in Lebanon and helped build a secure communication channel for the transport of weapons.

The probe confirmed that Nimer intended to transfer weapons to Hezbollah-affiliated groups in Israel, along with the drugs, and that a number of “field trips” trips to the Lebanese border were made by the Israeli suspects, to plan the smuggling operations.

The police report noted that one of the suspects was in possession of illegally obtained weapons.

In 2012, an investigation uncovered some 20 kilograms of explosives and detonators, packaged to look like drugs, that were transported using a similar network of Israeli drug dealers directed by Hezbollah. Most of the roughly 20 suspects arrested in that probe claimed to have no knowledge that they were carrying explosives, and thought they were only transporting drugs.

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