More than 15 Israeli spy networks were uncovered by a Lebanese intelligence agency today, according to a government minister.
The Israeli spy ring infiltrated Palestinian organisations operating in Lebanon, including Hezbollah and the Lebanese intelligence agency itself, reported the Lebanese news site Al-Akhbar.
Interior Minister Bassam Mawlawi confirmed the report during the weekly government meeting that Lebanese security forces had discovered 17 spy rings, some of which operated beyond Lebanon's borders.
In total, it was reported that 35 suspects were summoned for questioning, with 20 arrested. The incident was one of the largest security operations carried out since 2009, according to Al-Akhbar.
The security operation was carried out four weeks ago and after the coordination of the intelligence branch with the command of the internal security forces. Within four weeks, they were able to obtain cases involving dozens of suspects who directly or indirectly collaborated with the Israeli occupation.
Agents were allegedly recruited by Israel through social media, where they were offered money in exchange for their cooperation, the report added.
"Investigations revealed that at least 12 of the detainees were aware that they were working for Israel and that the rest believed that they were working for international institutions or non-governmental organisations," Al-Akhbar reported.
Prime Minister Najib Mikati said the arrests had helped stop "efforts to tamper with security and sabotage the stability of the country," according to a cabinet statement read by Information Minister Abbas Halabi.