Israeli-border rocket launcher from Lebanon to be released

Published August 1st, 2014 - 06:27 GMT

A suspect detained for allegedly firing rockets from South Lebanon toward Israel is set to be released Friday and will be charged with crimes of possessing unlicensed weapons and firing rockets into Israel later today, a judicial source told The Daily Star.

Hussein Izzat Atwe from the Hasbaya village of Hebbarieh was arrested at the Al-Bire Hospital in the Bekaa Valley last month, for allegedly firing a rocket from the town of Al-Marri toward Israel.

“The lawyer has just contacted me and told me that preparations for his release are underway,” Hussein Atwe’s brother Sheikh Abed al-Hakim Atwe told The Daily Star.

“He is currently in the Military Hospital finalizing the necessary procedures for his release,” he said, adding that his brother “will be released soon.”

Atwe was receiving treatment at the Military Hospital for severe burns he sustained after launching the rockets.

A judicial source told The Daily Star that the Military Prosecutor's Office reviewed Atwe’s file along with initial investigations conducted by Army Intelligence and decided to release the suspect on bail.

The source said Military Prosecutor Saqr Saqr was set to charge Atwe in the coming hours with the crimes of possessing unlicensed weapons and firing rockets into Israel, exposing Lebanon to the risk of Israeli aggression.

According to Elnashra, the Al-Jamaa al-Islamiya Islamist group has canceled protests it had organized to demand the release of Atwe.

Atwe, from Lebanon’s Al-Jamaa al-Islamiya Islamist group, confessed to having fired the rockets. The group, however, said that Atwe acted alone, stressing that it had made no decision to fire rockets on Israel.

Security sources told The Daily Star that Lebanese Army Intelligence had found traces of six rockets in the Mari area in the Hasbaya region, some 2 kilometers from the Blue Line, the de facto border between the two states.

The rocket attack constitutes a breach of resolution 1701, which ended Israel’s 2006 war on Lebanon.

The resolution bans Hezbollah from maintaining an armed presence in the area, restricting it to forces from the Army and the U.N. Interim Force in Lebanon.





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