Photo Credit: Asher Schwartz

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 ultimately 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, the man was arrested by authorities because they had discovered he made the reservation while in the Jewish state.

His passport also reportedly indicate that he had been to Israel.

The man was released on Thursday or Friday amid a behind-the-scenes diplomatic pressure campaign by 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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