Israel Frees Spy for Hizbullah

Ahiya Raved - YNET - July 29, 2006

Ghazi Falah, geography professor from Canadian university, released after spending three weeks in Israeli prison for allegedly spying for Hizbullah in north of Israel

The Galilee District Police on Sunday released Israeli-Canadian geography professor Ghazi Falah from prison after he was arrested three weeks ago for allegedly spying for Hizbullah.

The suspect was not brought before a judge and was released with the State's consent after 22 days in custody.

The incident started about three weeks ago when the Nazareth-born Bedouin was arrested after the State claimed Falah was videotaping and photographing strategic facilities in the western part of Israel's northern border for the purpose of sending them to Hizbullah.

In addition, the professor was accused of passing maps and other information. During his investigation, Falah denied the allegations and claimed he was a tourist from Canada simply filming the landscape.

'Almost all Israelis are spies'

On Sunday, after 22 days under arrest, the police decided, under instructions from the State Prosecutor's Office, not to extend Falah's remand. Falah's attorney Hsein Abu Hsein said in response that the whole incident was nonsense.

"Prof. Falah is a geography professor who was filming areas that are significant for his academic and scientific research," said Abu Hsein. "If every person with a digital camera would be arrested, we will soon find out that almost all Israelis are spies."

"If there was any shred of evidence against my client, the State wouldn't have released him so quickly," said Abu Hsein, "and they would have placed some limitations on him. It came to the point where there had to be a decision if to indict my client or not, and the fact is that he was released and it doesn't seem like he will be indicted."

The Justice Ministry spokesman said that "Prof Falah was interrogated for alleged involvement in espionage activities, and after the conclusion of the investigation no sufficient evidence was found to prosecute him."