JERUSALEM (JTA) – A Swedish citizen born in Lebanon was charged in Israel with spying for the terrorist group Hezbollah.
Khalil Hizran, 55, the son of Palestinian refugee parents, confessed to working on behalf of Hezbollah, the Shin Bet security service said in a statement released Sunday, after a gag order on the case was lifted. He was arrested last month after flying into the Tel Aviv-area’s Ben-Gurion International Airport.
On Sunday, he was indicted on three criminal charges: providing information to a terror group, contact with a foreign agent and accepting funds from Hezbollah.
Hezollah recruited Hizran in 2009 while he was on a trip to Lebanon with his family, according to the Shin Bet. He re-entered Lebanon in 2011 and 2013 to meet with the terrorist group’s leaders.
Hizran reportedly was asked by Hezbollah to recruit Israelis to the movement, particularly those with ties to Jewish groups, military personnel and members of the government, according to the Shin Bet. He also was asked to gather information about military bases and places where army personnel gather, as well as where weapons and tanks are stored.
“Hezbollah’s interest in the entry process and inspections in Ben-Gurion Airport indicates Hezbollah’s desire to identify the loopholes in the process, which will allow it to get its people into Israel undisturbed and without falling under suspicion,” the Shin Bet statement Bet said. “Hezbollah’s interest in army bases and IDF targets proves once again that Hezbollah is gearing up for the next campaign with Israel, and is marking these targets in its ‘bank of targets.’”