Cleared for publication: Hassan Khalil Khizran was arrested late last month as he entered Ben Gurion International Airport in connection with passing information to Hezbollah in Lebanon.
Khizran, 55, a Swedish national of Lebanese-Palestinian Authority descent, was indicted Sunday (August 9) on three counts of passing intelligence information to the terrorist organization, and contacting a foreign agent.
He was taken into custody as he disembarked from an aircraft and attempted to enter Israel. Swedish authorities were updated about the arrest.
Court papers indicate that Khizran joined Hezbollah as an intelligence source in 2009.
According to a statement filed by the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency), the tasks assigned to Khizran prove the Hezbollah is “preparing for the next war with Israel and is marking out a ‘target bank.’ “
Defending attorney Leah Tsemel denied the charges and told the Reuters news service her client “refused any request to harm Israel’s security.”
According to the indictment, Khizran was assigned to recruited Israeli Arabs with social connections to Jewish Israelis, military officials and government officials.
However, he refrained from carrying out this task despite pressure from his handlers, according to the brief.
Khizran was also asked to collect other useful and relevant information about Israel such as locations in which there are military bases, large concentrations of IDF troops, tanks, and arms.
He traveled to Israel several times for this purpose and then met in Beirut with his handlers to provide them with information, according to the indictment.
His handlers demanded he provide visual documentation to broaden the information he gave them — but he said he did not do so.
He also told the Shin Bet that during a family trip to Lebanon in 2009 with his wife and children he was offered to meet with Hezbollah agents. To this, he agreed.
In secret meetings with these agents he was told Hezbollah was interested in recruiting Palestinians who held European passports so they would be able to enter and move more freely through Israel, and thus gather intelligence for Hezbollah. It is not clear whether or not he recruited others for this task.
In addition, the terrorist organization asked for information about the entry process, security checks, and other operations at Ben Gurion International Airport. There is no information available about which information he gave Hezbollah about the airport and its operations.
Khizran met again with Hezbollah again in visits to Lebanon in 2011 and 2013.
In return for his cooperation with Hezbollah, Khizran received $2,300 in 2009 and $800 in 2011.
Khizran told the Shin Bet about a group called The Lebanese House” that operates in Malmö, Sweden. The members of the group are Shi’ite Muslims who are involved in social and cultural Shi’ite activity. They allegedly mark Hezbollah anniversaries, watch the speeches delivered by Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah, and more.