Australia has confirmed that “Prisoner X,” since identified as Ben Zygier, worked for the Israeli government, and it warned Israel it faces a strong protest if it is proven his home country passport was misused.
Zygier, alias Ben Alon and Ben Allen, hanged himself in an Israeli jail two years ago after having been arrested for an unknown charge, but his identity was not revealed until last month.
It is assumed he worked for the Mossad and at some point acted against Israel’s interest, possibly through a treasonous act.
Foreign Affairs Minister Bob Carr told reporters in Australia that a Dept. of Foreign Affairs (DFAT) report has raised serious problems on how the case was handled.
He also said there are still many unanswered questions, one of the most serious being the issue of passports.
“Certainly if Australian passports were misused here, that’s something we are forced to take very seriously,” Senator Carr said. “No country can allow the integrity of its passport system to be compromised.
If it is confirmed that Israel misused his passport, “We’ll be registering the strongest protest,” Carr added.
He dismissed reports that Zygier was involved in the assassination of a senior Hamas official in Dubai in January 2010, when some of the killers used Australian passports.
The incident prompted the expulsion of an Israeli diplomat from Australia, one of the most pro-Israel countries in the world.