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October 22, 2014 / 28 Tishri, 5775
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Posts Tagged ‘Ben Zygier’

Settlement Deal Reached with Family of “Prisoner X”

Tuesday, September 10th, 2013

In a settlement deal between the state and the family of Ben Zygier (aka Prisoner X), the State of Israel has agreed to pay the family NIS 4 million. As part of the settlement deal, the state will not assume any responsibility for the suicide of the former Mossad agent, or mistakes that were made in his recruitment.

NIS 2.4 million will be paid in 2013, and then an additional NIS 400,000 will be paid every year for 4 years.

Second ‘Prisoner X’ Identified as Palestinian Authority Arab

Wednesday, July 10th, 2013

An Israel court partially lifted a gag order Wednesday on the case of a second “prisoner X,” held in secret in a high-security prison, and identified him as Wael Abu Reda of Gaza. He is charged with committing “crimes against the security of the country.”

Australian media earlier this year exposed the secret incarceration of a an immigrant from the country who worked for the Mossad and hanged himself in prison. Security officials arrested him after he carried out an unauthorized mission that crippled a Mossad attempt to return three dead bodies of Israelis killed in the First Lebanon War and also exposed one of the intelligence agency’s most important agents in Lebanon.

The Australian, Ben Zygier, was thrown into the highest security cell in Israel, in the same area of the cell of Yigal Amir, who assassinated Prime Minister Yitzchak Rabin.

Like Zygier, Abu Reda disappeared mysteriously. He had last been seen in Egypt last month. The gag order on details and background of his arrest remains in effect for at least 10 more days.

His wife, Amani Abu Reda, told the Bethlehem-based Ma’an news agency last week that her husband disappeared during a visit to Egypt for medical treatment. The International Committee of the Red Cross informed the family that he was the in custody of Israel.

‘Prisoner X’ Zygier Ruined Mission to Return Bodies of 3 Soldiers

Tuesday, May 7th, 2013

Australian Mossad agent Ben Zygier, previously known as the ‘Prisoner X’ who committed suicide in an Israel jail, unintentionally sabotaged a Mossad top secret operation to bring home the bodies of three Israeli soldiers missing Lebanon.

One of the missing was American-Israeli Zachary Baumel, whose remains never have been located.

The Australian Broadcasting Corp. (ABC), which broke the original story identifying Zygier and his suicide, reported Tuesday that his reckless and unauthorized operation, which he wanted to use to help him advance in the Mossad ranks, exposed a top Mossad agent.

Israel had been trying for three decades to locate and bring home the remains of Baumel, Yehuda Katz and Tzvi Feldman, all of whom were killed by Syrian forces in a battle in Lebanon’s BekkaValley in 1982.

The ABC report reveals why Israeli authorities jailed him in the highest security cell in Israel, in the same wing that held Yigal Amir, who assassinated former Prime Minister Yitzchak Rabin.

The report also explains the fears that must have been going through Zygier’s mind while in jail and which led him to hang himself.

He faced 22 years in prison for espionage and treason as well as the life-long disgrace for his family in Israel and Australia.

He hanged himself in December 2010 after being secretly jailed several months earlier in the year.

Zygier butchered a detailed Mossad operation to bring home the remains thorough an agent whom he exposed when trying, on his own, to recruit a Lebanese man who then double-crossed him.

The exposed agent is Ziad Al Homsi, whom the Mossad recruited in 2007 in Lebanon. He told ABC the Mossad recruited him by using a Syrian who claimed his brother in Europe was working to return the remains of missing Israeli solders.

Al Homsi previously had led Lebanese soldiers in the war against Israel in Lebanon and knew of the battle in which the three missing soldiers were killed.

The Mossad believed they were buried in Lebanon although pictures from Syria showed their bodies being paraded through the streets of Damascus.

Israeli secret agents handed over to Al Homsi the location of the graves, and he was supposed to exhume them and leave the remains for other Mossad agents to retrieve.

But Zygier had exposed him.

The Australian native’s career as a spy was not going well in 2008, when he was put to work at a desk job near Tel Aviv.

He decided to prove himself by trying to recruit a Hezbollah operative as a double agent, who in turn pressured Zygier to prove his credentials as a Mossad agent.

Zygier obliged by informing him of the identity of Al Homsi. The would-be Mossad agent Zygier tried to recruit then double-crossed him and spilled the beans to Lebanese authorities.

They arrested Al Homsi before he could exhume the remains and sentenced him to 15 years in jail. He was released thee years afterwards. ABC said that Al Homsi claims he actually was a double agent and that Lebanon knew of his Mossad activities.

Judge: Failures by Prison Staff Caused the Death of Prisoner X

Thursday, April 25th, 2013

Israeli State Attorney Moshe Lador decided on Thursday that the Prison Service staff who were involved in the scandal of inmate Ben Zygier, known as “Prisoner X,” will not be charged.

Lador has determined that there isn’t sufficient evidence that their negligence caused Zygier’s death. Nevertheless, the investigation’s findings will be handed over to the Prison Service for a possible disciplinary action.

Ben Zygier

Ben Zygier

Earlier, Judge Daphne Blatman-Kdrai issued her report on the the death of Prisoner X, which found serious failings in the conduct of the Prisons Authority. The Judge wrote that her investigation shows prima facie evidence of failure by various components of the Prisons Authority that caused the prisoner’s death.

The judge rejected the State’s motion to close down the investigation of circumstances surrounding the death of the prisoner without determining fault. The judge also ruled that those responsible for the supervisory practices should have anticipated that by maintaining a stricter watch on the prisoner’s behavior they could have prevented him from committing suicide.

The report details a conversation between Zygier and his wife on his final day, December 12, 2010. It states that at the conclusion of the call the intelligence NCO on duty noticed that the prisoner was crying, nervous and upset, since the conversation between Prisoner X and his wife included difficult information.

The report further stated that the deceased prisoner asked to give his wife a note, but the Intelligence NCO refused. In response, the prisoner tore up the note angrily. His wife asked to allow it to enter the cell again, to calm her husband down. The NCO agreed, despite the breech in procedure. According to NCO, when they left the booth, the wife was crying.

The intelligence NCO made it clear in his testimony that he passed the information about the event to the social worker, and she in turn told investigators that she did not see the prisoner gushing emotions as an exceptional event and did not issue any instruction on this matter.

According to the social worker, at six in the evening was on the phone with the guard, who reported that the prisoner was relaxed and watching TV. At close to 7 PM, the prisoner went into the bathroom and never came out.

Report: Prisoner X Bungled Attempt to Win Over Hizbullah Aide

Sunday, March 24th, 2013

Ben Zygier, the Australian Jew who became a Mossad spy and committed suicide in an Israeli prison cell two years, ago was arrested in Israel for acting without orders to carry out a bungled attempt to turn a man close with Hizbullah into a double agent.

The scheme backfired and led to the exposure and jailing of two valuable informants for the Mossad, Der Spiegel reported Sunday.

If the report is true, it exposes the missing key to the mystery surrounding Zygier’s arrest. His identity was revealed several weeks ago following an investigation by the Australian ABC news agency.

A joint investigation by the German newspaper and Australia’s Fairfax newspapers concluded that Zygier was demoted to a desk role after his self-assigned venture and faced at least 10 years in jail in a maximum security prison, such as the one where was found dead after he hanged himself.

He had tried to win over to Israel’s side a man of European descent and who was close to the Hizbullah terrorist organization. Zygier supplied the man with information, including the names of two top Mossad agents in Lebanon. The unidentified man double-crosses Zygier and turned over the names to Hizbullah, which arrested them in 2009 and sentenced them to 15 years of hard labor.

The investigative report also stated that the capture of the two agents, Ziad al-Homsi and Mustafa Ali Awadeh, may have foiled a possible effort to assassinate Hizbullah leader Hassan Nasrallah.

Zygier reportedly confessed to his unauthorized operation.

Israel May Be in Hot Water over Prisoner X’s Aussie Passport

Wednesday, March 6th, 2013

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.

Netanyahu: Excess Exposure on ‘Prisoner X’ Hurts National Security

Sunday, February 17th, 2013

Prime Minister Netanyahu on Sunday responded for the first time to the scandal that shook up Israel and Australia, over the suicide of former Mossad member Ben Zygier in an isolation cell in Israel, as Netanyahu’s own office was futilely attempting to block its publication.

Netanyahu emphasized the importance of security – even at the expense of freedom of expression. “Over-exposure of security and intelligence activities may seriously harm state security,” Netanyahu said.

Netanyahu chose to refer mainly to the public debate that surrounded the attempt to silence the story at first, and the sweeping gag order imposed on the entire affair.

“I would like to say that I completely trust the security forces of the State of Israel,” he said. “They are completely dedicated and committed to ensure that we can live in this country. I also trust absolutely the legal authorities in Israel.”

The Prime Minister said that “the security and intelligence forces of Israel operate under the full supervision of the legal authorities, which are completely independent. This combination of maintaining security and maintaining the law, also preserves the freedom of expression.”

He emphasized the special security conditions of the state of Israel, saying: “We are not like all the other countries. We an exemplary democracy and maintain the rights of detainees and human rights not less than any other country, but we are also more threatened and challenged, and so we must take care to maintain the proper operation of our security forces.”

He concluded: “And so I ask everyone, do let the security forces continue to work quietly, so that we can continue to live in security and peace in Israel.”

Meanwhile, Australian Foreign Minister Bob Carr said he was seeking answers from Israel over the 2010 death of “Prisoner X” in an Israeli jail, as part of its own probe into the case.

“We have asked the Israeli government for a contribution to that report,” Carr told reporters. “We want to give them an opportunity to submit to us an explanation of how this tragic death came about.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/netanyahu-excess-exposure-on-prisoner-x-hurts-national-security/2013/02/17/

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