BEIRUT: Internal Security Forces General Adnan Daoud was placed under house arrest on Thursday after two local television stations broadcast videotape of him having tea with Israeli Army officers when they occupied the South. New TV and Hizbullah's Al-Manar played the tape, which originally aired on Israeli television and showed Daoud having tea with smiling Israeli soldiers and taking them for a stroll in the courtyard of the Marjayoun barracks.
"The general is to remain under house arrest until the investigation is complete," acting Interior Minister Ahmad Fatfat told The Daily Star.
Fatfat ordered Daoud to be summoned and held for questioning.
Lebanese law forbids any dealings with Israel because a state of war exists between the two countries despite the Armistice Agreement of 1949. Lebanese citizens who have dealings with Israelis are subject to arrest and prosecution.
Daoud is commanding officer of the 1,000-strong joint police-army force that was lightly armed and which held various positions in Southern Lebanon and was based in Marjayoun. Israeli troops seized the barracks last Wednesday, holding Daoud and 350 soldiers for a day before allowing them to leave the occupied zone. The force was evacuated along with hundreds of civilians and under the protection of UN peacekeepers. The convoy nonetheless came under Israeli air attack, and seven people were killed.
Reports have indicated that four Israeli tanks rolled up to the entrance of the barracks, blowing holes in a steel gate and shattering glass.
The lightly armed Lebanese garrison did not resist the Israeli force, which then moved armor into the base.
The Jerusalem Post quoted Daoud as having said of his first encounter with an Israeli colonel: "He was very polite with me."
"They said: 'We are an occupying army and now you are occupied,'" Daoud said of a conversation with another Israeli officer after was taken prisoner and separated from lower-ranking soldiers. "I tried to refuse because they were Israelis and I am Lebanese and they are supposed to be the enemy."