Security has been raised significantly around the hospital room in which former Mossad head Meir Dagan is recuperating in Minsk, the capital of Belarus. Israeli officials have asked for the increased security, after Belarus President Alexander Lukasehnko revealed on Tuesday that Dagan was in his country, recuperating from a liver transplant he had undergone several weeks ago.
Security officials said that there had been non-specific threats by terror groups to kill or kidnap Dagan. The officials stressed that no specific threats had been received, and that Dagan was not in any immediate danger, but that they were determined to keep the former Mossad head safe.
Dagan is still under sedation, as his body struggles to adjust itself to the liver. Dagan's family has been hoping and praying that his body does not reject the liver. Doctors are optimistic about his condition, family members said. Dagan's wife and children are present at his bedside.
Israeli sources said that they had been working closely with Belarus authorities since Dagan was admitted to the hospital there. At the press conference Tuesday, Lukashenko said that Belarus had agreed to do the operation, after hospitals in the U.S., Germany, and Sweden refused to allow Dagan into their countries.
“No one wanted to conduct this operation on a former head of the Mossad,” Lukashenko said at the press conference. “Ten days have passed since the operation that only Belarus was prepared to undertake. The U.S., Sweden, and Germany all refused.” However, family members denied this, saying that they had not attempted to send Dagan to Sweden, and that the German and U.S. hospitals would require a long wait for a liver, one that the 67-year old Dagan might not survive.
Dagan retired from the Mossad in January 2011, after receiving high praise from government and media for his management of the spy organization. Several assassinations of high-profile terrorists that occurred during the time of Dagan's administration of the group were said to have been carried out by the Mossad, at the behest of Dagan. Among the top terrorists eliminated during this period was Hizbullah top terrorist Imad Mughniyeh, and a top Hamas terrorist, Mahmoud al-Mabhouh. Dagan was also said to have presided over the operation to destroy Syria's nuclear reactor in 2007, and in various operations to delay Iran's nuclear program.