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Israel Releases Ohio University Professor It Had Accused of Spying


Ghazi Falah, a geography professor at the University of Akron, had been jailed since July 8, when he was arrested after taking photos of Israeli installations along the northern border. Falah is known in academic circles for his writings on the borders of Israel and a future Palestinian state.

Israeli authorities in the United States have said they suspected him of spying for hostile forces, but they had not specified the enemy. Falah’s lawyer in Israel said Falah was accused of spying for Hezbollah and Iran.

An Israeli court ordered Falah released Sunday after he was questioned about the pictures, said his wife, Jamila.

“They gave him the pictures and said, ‘Here, take the pictures and do whatever you want with it,’” said Jamila Falah, 45, who said her husband had called her twice since his release.

Ghazi Falah, 53, was not charged. His lawyer, Husein abu-Husein, said one of the photos included a military antenna, but added that his client denied spying.

The Israeli Consulate General in Philadelphia did not return a message left Sunday.

Falah was to try to return home Monday, his wife said, adding that the family planned a celebration.

“We’ve bought a lot of steaks, a lot of things,” she said. “All his friends want to come over from all over Canada and the United States, they want to see him.”

Associated Press


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