In a letter to his concerned family, an Arab-Israeli diver who has been imprisoned in Lebanon
for the past five months wrote, "Dear brother, I've received your letter. I'm in a prison in Lebanon and hope to see my beloved family. I have nothing in life but you all. Send my regards to everyone."
Ahmad Daif, 32, from the village of Ara, crossed into Lebanon's territorial waters while diving near Rosh Hanikra. He was found in a diving suit on a beach in the southern Lebanese border town of Naqoura and was immediately detained by Lebanese security forces on suspicion of spying for Israel.
His letter, dated January 27, 2012 was received at the Red Cross offices in Tel Aviv
on Monday, Yedioth Ahronoth reported. Red Cross
officials presented the letter to Daif's mother, Nihad, and to Deputy Minister Ayoob Kara (Likud),
who has been accompanying the family.
"Thank god," the mother said repeatedly upon receiving the letter - the first sign of life from her son since his arrest.
The mother, who learned of Daif's arrest while watching Lebanese television, approached a number of Knesset members and asked that they assist in the efforts to release her son. She even wrote a letter to Lebanese authorities stressing that Daif was not a spy. She urged them to show mercy and release her son.
Meanwhile, Israel Police reversed its decision to obligate the Visitors Site at Rosh Hanikra, located not far from the point where Daif crossed into Lebanon, to secure the site at nighttime as well to prevent the infiltration of Lebanese swimmers and fishermen into Israel.