BEIRUT: Foreign Minister Nassif Hitti on Friday summoned the US Ambassador to Lebanon Dorothy Shea over the transportation of Israeli agent Amer Al-Fakhoury from the US Embassy in Awkar to the US.
Hitti’s office said that the minister listened to Shea give “an explanation about the circumstances of Amer Al-Fakhoury being transferred abroad from the US Embassy.”
A US military helicopter landed at the embassy on Thursday before leaving and flying out to sea.
US citizen Al-Fakhoury had taken refuge in the embassy on Monday, after Lebanon’s military court dropped charges of “killing and torturing detainees at Khiam prison in the South during the Israeli occupation before the year 2000” against him.
The court said that charges against him were dropped because the statute of limitations had expired, which meant that 20 years had passed since the crimes took place without anyone filing a complaint against him.
The helicopter was able to fly in due to an agreement signed by the US and Lebanon in 1982, allowing US planes to “enter Lebanese airspace and land on its territory without revealing the nature of the mission.”
Al-Fakhoury was arrested in September 2019 at Beirut airport while returning from the US after he had fled to Israel when the occupation forces withdrew from Southern Lebanon.
He was recognized and spent months at one of Lebanon’s hospitals during his arrest, since he suffers from advanced cancer.
Activists accused Hezbollah of being “an accomplice of the Free Patriotic Movement (FPM) to release Al-Fakhoury.”
This necessitated the appearance of Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah on TV on Friday night to clarify its position.
The head of the court that released Al-Fakhoury, Brig. Gen. Hussein Abdallah, announced his resignation on Friday morning.
“Out of respect for my oath and military honor, I am resigning from heading the military court, where the application of the law equals the release of an agent, the pain of a captive and the betraying of a judge,” he said.
Prime Minister Hassan Diab tweeted: “The crime of being an informant for the Israeli enemy cannot be forgotten. The rights of martyrs and liberated prisoners do not fade in heaven’s justice by the passage of time.”