Prisoner X held ‘after leaking Mossad work’

Updated 18 February 2013
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Prisoner X held ‘after leaking Mossad work’

SYDNEY: A suspected Mossad agent known as Prisoner X was arrested by his own spymasters after leaking detailed information about his work to Australian intelligence services, according to sources cited by broadcaster ABC yesterday.
Ben Zygier, an Australian-Israeli, gave Australian intelligence officials a comprehensive account of a number of Mossad operations, the sources told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
Israel’s Parliament said it would launch an “intensive” inquiry into Zygier’s arrest and death after the ABC’s Foreign Correspondent program last week exposed his identity.
According to the ABC, Zygier was found hanged in his cell in Ayalon prison near Tel Aviv in December 2010, in a case Israel went to extreme lengths to cover up.
It imposed a total media blackout on the case but was forced to ease the restrictions after the story made headlines across the world, rendering the local gag order ineffective.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said yesterday that shining too much light on intelligence activities can “badly damage” state security.
ABC said sources have told the Foreign Correspondent program that Zygier gave Australian Security Intelligence Organization (ASIO) officials information that included plans for a top-secret mission in Italy that had been years in the making.
It is unknown who initiated the contact with the Australian intelligence services, which came during one of his frequent visits back with his wife and children.
In one of four trips to Australia in the years before his death he reportedly applied for a work visa to Italy.
ABC said it understood Zygier was one of three Australian Jews working for Mossad who changed their names several times, taking out new passports as they traveled in the Middle East and Europe.
Zygier reportedly set up a Europe-based communications company for Mossad that exported electronic components to Arab countries as well as Iran, a venture that employed the two other dual citizens.
Zygier, who immigrated to Israel in around 2001, is believed to have been arrested in February 2010. He was found hanged in his cell 10 months later despite being under 24-hour surveillance.


Israeli planes strike Hamas targets in Gaza

Updated 18 June 2018
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Israeli planes strike Hamas targets in Gaza

  • The attacks targeted two Hamas military sites and a munitions manufacturing site
  • “Fire balloons” and kites carrying flammable material have become symbols of the Palestinian border protests in recent months

JERUSALEM: Israeli warplanes on Monday conducted strikes against nine Hamas “military targets” in the northern Gaza Strip in response to incendiary kites being sent into Israeli territory, the army said.
The attacks targeted two Hamas military sites and a munitions manufacturing site, the military said in a statement, without specifying whether the raids had resulted in casualties.
“Fire balloons” and kites carrying flammable material have become symbols of the Palestinian border protests in recent months.
The Israeli army on Saturday wounded two Palestinians in the Gaza Strip attempting to launch incendiary balloons across the border into Israel, officials said.
Since major border protests broke out at the end of March, more than 300 fires have devastated several thousand hectares of fields and shrubland, the Israeli fire service has said.
According to Israel’s Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman, 400 kites have been intercepted from some 600 launched since the start of the recent protests.
At least 130 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli gunfire in the same time span. No Israelis have been killed.
Palestinians are calling to return to the homes their families fled or were forced from in 1948 during the war surrounding the creation of Israel.
The Gaza Strip is controlled by the Islamist movement Hamas which Israel considers its chief enemy.
The two sides have fought three wars since 2008 and observe a tense cease-fire.