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Daniel Sharon in 1996
Photo: Amikam Horesh
Israeli arrested in Lebanon is a Muslim convert
German-Israeli citizen arrested in Beirut converted to Islam over 11 years ago, visited Lebanon on numerous occasions

Daniel Sharon, the Israeli citizen arrested in Beirut on Thursday, converted to Islam over 11 years ago.

 

Sharon was interviewed by Yedioth Ahronoth upon his conversion to Islam. He said he was a devout Muslim who fasted on Ramadan and attended Friday prayers.

 

Sharon's father's ex-wife, Orli, told Ynet on Saturday that the Israeli Foreign Ministry and the German Consulate in Beirut were working on his release.

 

"The Foreign Ministry and the German Consulate are working on the issue. We know nothing beyond that and we do not want to harm the chance of ending this problem fast," Orli said.

 

Sharon, who holds German citizenship, was arrested as part of a criminal investigation in Beirut after police found a photocopy of his Israeli passport at a murder scene.

 

He was born in Munich and his family moved to Israel when he was two-years-old. His father lives in Shavei Tzion near the northern town of Nahariya.


Sharon visited Lebanon, Jordan over 10 years ago (Photo: Amikam Horesh)

 

"Daniel told me he visits Beirut frequently using his German passport. He speaks Arabic with a khaligi accent (attributed to the Gulf countries). Once I asked him how he dare go to Lebanon and he said, 'I am only afraid to travel to Syria," a family friend said.

 

In a May 1996 interview with Yedioth, Sharon said he first visited Lebanon two days before Israel's Operation Grapes of Wrath that was launched against Hizbullah in April 1996.

 

Sharon, who lived in Jordan at the time, flew from Amman to Beirut where customs officers asked him whether he was the son of Ariel Sharon. "The name Ariel Sharon still instills fear in Lebanon," Sharon told Yedioth in 1996.

 

Ronny Gal and Roee Nahmias contributed to this report

 

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