Israeli jailed for five months in Libya is released

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An Israeli man, who had been held in Libya since March on suspicion of spying, has been released.

Israeli media reported that Rafael Hadad was flown to Vienna where he was met by Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman.

Mr Lieberman had been involved in negotiating Mr Hadad's release.

Mr Hadad was arrested while photographing Jewish sites in Libya, Israeli officials have said.

There has been no comment on the case by the Libyan authorities.

A dual Tunisian-Israeli citizen, Mr Hadad is reported to have been in Libya on behalf of an Israeli group dedicated to documenting and preserving the history of Libya's vanished Jewish community.

His whereabouts were unknown until Sunday, when Israeli officials announced that he had been freed by Libyan authorities after prolonged negotiations.

The case had been subject to an Israeli military gag order because of fears that publicity would endanger Mr Hadad's safety.

Libya and Israel are technically at war. Israeli nationals are banned from visiting Libya. Mr Hadad was travelling on his Tunisian passport when he was arrested.

As part of the deal, Israeli officials are quoted in the the press as as saying, Israel allowed 20 prefabricated houses from a Libyan-sponsored ship, which had tried to reach Gaza in July, to be delivered to the strip. The ship was diverted to Egypt and never reached Gaza directly.

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