Israel claims it has dismantled Hizbullah cell

JERUSALEM: Israel's Shin Beth internal security service said Wednesday that it had dismantled an intelligence cell of the Lebanese resistance group Hizbullah in the occupied West Bank. Three Palestinians suspected of being recruited into the cell were detained in the northern West Bank city of Nablus on February 25, a statement said.

The primary suspect is a 21-year-old student from nearby An-Najah University, Wassam Nasser, who is accused of having been recruited by the resistance group and given military and intelligence training during a trip to Lebanon, the statement said.

Shin Beth officers charge that the student sent Hizbullah chiefs pictures of Israeli roadblocks and bases around Nablus via Internet.

Two Palestinians of the same age were also detained on suspicion of assisting the intelligence gathering.

Israel, which pulled out of South Lebanon in 2000 under Hizbullah fire, has long accused the Lebanese resistance group of involvement in unrest in the Palestinian territories but has so far provided little proof.

Hizbullah's Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah has repeatedly stated that while the resistance group supports the Palestinian cause, it does not provide any military backing to Palestinian militant groups. - AFP

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