(September 20, 2022 / JNS) An American Jew was released from custody in Lebanon after being detained for several days on suspicion of espionage for having booked his hotel reservation in Beirut from Israel, Kan News reported on Monday.
According to the report, the man in his 20s had recently studied at a yeshiva in Jerusalem and then traveled to Lebanon after visiting Cyprus. He intended to go from Beirut to the Kurdish region in Iraq, said the report.
Officials told Kan News that upon arrival at the hotel in the Lebanese capital, he was arrested by authorities because they had discovered he made the reservation while in the Jewish state.
His passport also reportedly indicated that he had been to Israel.
The man was released on Thursday or Friday amid behind-the-scenes diplomatic pressure from U.S. officials and members of Congress, according to the report.
The incident comes as U.S.-brokered talks to resolve a longstanding maritime border dispute between Israel and Lebanon are reportedly making progress.
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