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November 01, 2002

Israel admits capture of Hizbullah man

Big fish caught some time ago but just now revealed
Militant was seized with fake passport in June 2001
Israel arrested a senior member of Hizbullah last summer who had entered the Jewish state on a forged American passport to plot attacks against Israeli civilians, the Israeli Army said in a statement Thursday.
Fawzi Ayoub, 38, was captured in Israel in June 2001 after entering the country from a European country on a fake US passport, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s office confirmed.
“Ayoub’s mission to Israel is a new stage in the efforts which Hizbullah has invested in perpetrating terror attacks inside Israel,” the army said.
Contacted in Beirut, Hizbullah officials said they had no comment on the issue.
The Israeli Army described Ayoub as a Shiite Muslim from Lebanon and a veteran of Hizbullah, who “has taken part in various resistance operations and activities, and is responsible for numerous casualties among civilians.”
But the Jewish state did not say why news of the arrest was kept quiet until now.
Ayoub arrived in Israel in October 2000, shortly after the start of the Palestinian uprising, and spent time in Hebron in the southern West Bank where he made contact with at least one militant “who aided him in his missions,” which included scouting sites for hiding explosives, the army said.
Ayoub had spent several years in Canada as a Hizbullah operative before being transferred to Europe, where he received his forged documents to enter Israel, the army added.
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