The Secrets of Israel's 'Prisoner X2'

Second Mossad Man Jailed Along With Ben Zygier


By Reuters

Published July 09, 2013.
  • Print
  • Share Share

Israel has secretly jailed a member of its security services for a grave offence, a prominent Israeli lawyer said on Tuesday, describing the case as riveting and sensational.

The revelation emerged from a memorandum released by the Justice Ministry on Monday on a previous secret detainee, Australian Ben Zygier, an immigrant and disgraced Mossad spy who committed suicide in prison in 2010.

Avigdor Feldman, a lawyer who specialises in matters of national security and formerly advised Zygier - dubbed “Prisoner X” by the media - said in a radio interview that he knew of a second detainee, whom he described as “Prisoner X2”.

Feldman declined to elaborate on the second inmate other than to say he was male, Jewish, held Israeli citizenship and had worked for the government’s secret services.

Asked how the second detainee’s alleged offenses compared with Zygier’s, Feldman told Tel Aviv radio station 103 FM: “Without getting into details? Much more grave. Much more sensational. Much more amazing. Much more riveting.”

The Zygier case went public in February after it was reported in his native Australia, and the news of a second prisoner will expose the intelligence services to more, unwelcome press attention.

Israeli officials have not published the charges against Zygier, saying only that he had endangered national security and had been held in isolation, with his own agreement, to avoid exposing him to media scrutiny while he prepared his defence. One newspaper reported that he had faced up to 20 years in prison if convicted.

Various other media reports speculated that Zygier had betrayed Mossad operations in Dubai or Lebanon, potentially leading to the capture of Israeli agents abroad.

Feldman, in another radio interview earlier this year, said that Zygier had denied the allegations against him but had been considering a plea bargain with a reduced punishment.

After Australia’s ABC television aired the Zygier affair, Israel imposed court gag orders on reporting it locally. The gags, which were enforced by military censors, have eased since.

The Justice Ministry on Monday published a previously redacted report on Zygier’s suicide, which included mention of the second, unidentified, detainee, held in another wing of the same prison. The ministry provided no further information.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • This is what the rockets over Israel and Gaza look like from space:
  • "Israel should not let captives languish or corpses rot. It should do everything in its power to recover people and bodies. Jewish law places a premium on pidyon shvuyim, “the redemption of captives,” and proper burial. But not when the price will lead to more death and more kidnappings." Do you agree?
  • Slate.com's Allison Benedikt wrote that Taglit-Birthright Israel is partly to blame for the death of American IDF volunteer Max Steinberg. This is why she's wrong:
  • Israeli soldiers want you to buy them socks. And snacks. And backpacks. And underwear. And pizza. So claim dozens of fundraising campaigns launched by American Jewish and Israeli charities since the start of the current wave of crisis and conflict in Israel and Gaza.
  • The sign reads: “Dogs are allowed in this establishment but Zionists are not under any circumstances.”
  • Is Twitter Israel's new worst enemy?
  • More than 50 former Israeli soldiers have refused to serve in the current ground operation in #Gaza.
  • "My wife and I are both half-Jewish. Both of us very much felt and feel American first and Jewish second. We are currently debating whether we should send our daughter to a Jewish pre-K and kindergarten program or to a public one. Pros? Give her a Jewish community and identity that she could build on throughout her life. Cons? Costs a lot of money; She will enter school with the idea that being Jewish makes her different somehow instead of something that you do after or in addition to regular school. Maybe a Shabbat sing-along would be enough?"
  • Undeterred by the conflict, 24 Jews participated in the first ever Jewish National Fund— JDate singles trip to Israel. Translation: Jews age 30 to 45 travelled to Israel to get it on in the sun, with a side of hummus.
  • "It pains and shocks me to say this, but here goes: My father was right all along. He always told me, as I spouted liberal talking points at the Shabbos table and challenged his hawkish views on Israel and the Palestinians to his unending chagrin, that I would one day change my tune." Have you had a similar experience?
  • "'What’s this, mommy?' she asked, while pulling at the purple sleeve to unwrap this mysterious little gift mom keeps hidden in the inside pocket of her bag. Oh boy, how do I answer?"
  • "I fear that we are witnessing the end of politics in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I see no possibility for resolution right now. I look into the future and see only a void." What do you think?
  • Not a gazillionaire? Take the "poor door."
  • "We will do what we must to protect our people. We have that right. We are not less deserving of life and quiet than anyone else. No more apologies."
  • "Woody Allen should have quit while he was ahead." Ezra Glinter's review of "Magic in the Moonlight": http://jd.fo/f4Q1Q
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.