R200 discount for liking us on FB
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday backed Israel's intelligence services and said the country's security was paramount, in his first reference to the furore surrounding the “Prisoner X” affair.
The security services should be “allowed to work quietly so that we can continue to live in security and tranquillity,” Netanyahu told ministers at a cabinet session in Jerusalem.
Late on Sunday, the Parliamentary committee responsible for classified incidents said it would open an intensive investigation into the death of the Australian citizen.
An Australian television report last week identified Prisoner X - so called because his identity was kept secret - as Ben Zygier, an Australian immigrant to Israel who allegedly joined the Mossad intelligence service before being held in solidarity confinement and committing suicide in December 2010.
Israel, while eventually admitting his existence and confirming his suicide, did not name him, or reveal why he had been jailed.
Netanyahu, who did not refer specifically to Zygier said that “the over-exposure of security and intelligence activity could harm, sometimes severely, state security.”
“Therefore, in any discussion, the security interest cannot be made light of, and in the reality in which the State of Israel lives, this must be a main interest,” he continued.
The imprisonment of Zygier had been under a sweeping gag order in Israel and the authorities at first tried to prevent Israeli media from even reporting on the Australian television findings.
The full details of Zygier's imprisonment and death have still to be released, but media reports on Sunday said Israel may release the findings of an investigation into Zygier's death. - Sapa-dpa