Skip To Content
JEWISH. INDEPENDENT. NONPROFIT.
Breaking News

Cyprus Court Jails Hezbollah Man for Plotting To Attack Israelis

A Cyprus court sentenced a member of Lebanon’s Shi’ite Muslim Hezbollah movement to four years in jail on Thursday on charges of plotting to attack Israeli interests on the island.

In a case bearing similarities to a deadly bus bombing in Bulgaria targeting Israelis last year, the Cypriot court convicted Hossam Taleb Yaccoub on five counts of participating in a criminal organisation and agreeing to commit a crime.

Yaccoub, 24 when he was arrested, was accused of tracking movements of Israeli tourists at Larnaca airport, and routes of buses transporting them.

He was detained in Cyprus two weeks before a suicide bomber killed five Israeli tourists in the Bulgarian resort of Burgas in July, an attack Sofia blamed on Hezbollah. The group denies involvement.

Yaccoub, a Swedish national of Lebanese origin, pleaded not guilty. He admitted he was a member of Hezbollah, saying he would carry out innocent errands for a handler code-named Ayman, whom he could not fully identify because he always wore a hood.

“There is no doubt these are serious crimes which could have potentially endangered Israeli citizens and targets in the Republic,” the three-bench court said during sentencing.

Yaccoub’s jail term will run concurrently with his period in custody since July.

The United States, which, like Israel, considers Hezbollah a terrorist organisation, has said the guilty verdict on Yaccoub announced by the Cypriot court on March 21 highlighted the need for the European Union to crack down on the Lebanese group.

The EU, to which Cyprus belongs, has resisted pressure from the United States and Israel to blacklist Hezbollah, saying that doing so might destabilise Lebanon and add to regional tensions. (Writing by Michele Kambas; Editing by Alistair Lyon)

I hope you appreciated this article. Before you go, I’d like to ask you to please support the Forward’s award-winning, nonprofit journalism during this critical time.

Now more than ever, American Jews need independent news they can trust, with reporting driven by truth, not ideology. We serve you, not any ideological agenda.

At a time when other newsrooms are closing or cutting back, the Forward has removed its paywall and invested additional resources to report on the ground from Israel and around the U.S. on the impact of the war, rising antisemitism and the protests on college campuses.

Readers like you make it all possible. Support our work by becoming a Forward Member and connect with our journalism and your community.

Make a gift of any size and become a Forward member today. You’ll support our mission to tell the American Jewish story fully and fairly. 

— Rachel Fishman Feddersen, Publisher and CEO

Join our mission to tell the Jewish story fully and fairly.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.