Daily Israel Report

Report: Israel to Pay Millions in Prisoner X Case

Israel has reportedly agreed to pay millions in compensation to the family of Israeli-Australian Ben Zygier, who died in an Israeli prison.
By Maayana Miskin
First Publish: 2/15/2013, 8:50 AM

Ben Zygier's grave
Ben Zygier's grave
Reuters

Israel has agreed to pay millions in compensation to the family of Ben Zygier, the Israeli-Australian who died in an Israeli prison, a source involved in the affair told Haaretz.

Zygier committed suicide in a Ramle prison in 2010. An ongoing investigation is examining the possibility that his jailers were negligent in failing to prevent the tragedy.

The source said Israel agreed to pay millions of shekels several weeks ago, after an investigation concluded that Zygier’s death had been a suicide and before the affair was exposed by the Australian media.

Zygier had been held under a false identity for security reasons. It has been widely reported that he worked for the Mossad.

A Kuwaiti paper reported Thursday that Zygier had taken part in the assassination of senior Hamas terrorist Mahmoud Al-Mabhouh. Mabhouh died on January 20, 2010 in a hotel in Dubai in a killing widely attributed to Israel.

According to the Kuwaiti report, Zygier had contacted Dubai officials after the assassination and had revealed details of the operation. In exchange, he was promised protection – but Israeli agents found his hiding place and arrested him, the report said.

According to other reports, Zygier had planned to reveal details of Mossad operations to the Australian press, but was arrested before he could do so.

Israeli officials have declined to release details of the case, citing the need to maintain secrecy around certain matters for the sake of state security.