Israel: Senior Lebanese Guerrilla Arrested

A senior Lebanese guerrilla who was sent to Israel to organize Palestinian attacks has been arrested, the government said Wednesday.

Fawzi Ayoub, 38, who fought with the Lebanese guerrilla group Hezbollah, was arrested in June, a statement from the prime minister's office said.

Ayoub is a senior Hezbollah fighter who took part in operations in and outside Lebanon, "including events in which many civilians were casualties," the Israeli statement said.

In the 1990s, Hezbollah fought a guerrilla war against Israeli forces that were occupying a strip of land in south Lebanon. The Israelis withdrew from Lebanon in May 2000.

The operations outside Lebanon in which Ayoub allegedly took part were not specified.

Ayoub spent some years in Canada, the statement said.

Reynald Doiron, a spokesman for Canada's Department of Foreign Affairs, said Wednesday that Ayoub held Canadian citizenship. He said Canada was notified of his arrest in late June and immediately requested consular access to Ayoub.

"We have not received yet a reply from the Israeli authorities," Doiron said.

When he returned to Lebanon he was recruited by senior Hezbollah figures "for a secret and dangerous mission in Israel," the statement said.

He entered Israel in October 2000 on a forged U.S. passport, the statement said.