The reports, which have appeared on Now Lebanon and other sites, say one of the suspects is a relative of a “prominent” member of Hezbollah and another “a religious figure.” One of the accused is identified as the liaison between Hezbollah, Iran and Syria.
This is hardly the first time Lebanese have been arrested for spying for Israel and/or acting against Hezbollah, but this is the first case I’m aware of in which the accused are Hezbollah members. The Kuwaiti paper Al-Rai al-Aam reports that Hezbollah is “dumbfounded” by the development (likely true, although there’s probably a hint of schadenfreude there).
I tried to get a comment on this from the IDF but got no reply. That’s hardly surprising. Either the story is true, in which case Israel will want to protect any remaining assets she has inside Hezbollah; or it isn’t, in which case there’s some useful disinformation flying around — disinformation that Israel would be foolish to admit to planting, and that works in her interest no matter where it originated.
Hezbollah usually executes people accused of spying for Israel, so the publication of these arrests could be designed to warn other Lebanese who might be tempted to “collaborate” with Israel. But the revelation that the spies came from inside the organization — and from the senior echelons at that — suggests serious disarray.
Again, it’s entirely possible that none of this is true — that Israel is not conducting any espionage inside Hezbollah. What we can say with more certainty is that disenchantment with Hezbollah is growing. Next door in Syria, where their image has been badly tarnished by the role they’ve taken in crushing the uprising, anger towards them is being openly expressed.
It’s much harder than it used to be for Hezbollah to pretend that they’re the advocates of the common Muslim. They’re on the defensive, and now, on top of everything else, they’ve apparently got to contend with traitors at the top.