Photo: Ziv Reinschtein
Rosh Hanikra (archives)
Photo: Ziv Reinschtein
First sign of life from Arab-Israeli diver held in Lebanon
Family of Ahmad Daif, who was arrested five months ago on beach in Naqoura after crossing into Lebanon via sea, relieved to receive first letter from him

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."


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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.




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