News / Asia

Australia Asks Israel to Explain Death of ‘Spy’

Australian Foreign Minister Bob Carr is seen in a December 17, 2012, file photo.Australian Foreign Minister Bob Carr is seen in a December 17, 2012, file photo.
x
Australian Foreign Minister Bob Carr is seen in a December 17, 2012, file photo.
Australian Foreign Minister Bob Carr is seen in a December 17, 2012, file photo.
Robert Berger
Israel’s Mossad spy agency is at the center of a scandal that is testing relations with Australia.
 
Australia is demanding information from Israel on the mysterious death of an alleged Mossad spy who held duel Australian-Israeli citizenship. The man known as “Prisoner X” reportedly committed suicide in an Israeli prison two years ago.
 
Australian Foreign Minister Bob Carr has ordered an investigation into the case and his department will issue a report.
 
“We have asked the Israeli government for a contribution to that report. We want to give them an opportunity to submit to us an explanation of how this tragic death came about.”
 
According to Australian media, Prisoner X hanged himself while in solitary confinement after Israel accused him of treason.
 
The case has caused an uproar in Australia and Israel. Questions have been asked as to how someone could commit suicide while under 24-hour surveillance at a high-security prison. Israel has maintained a blackout on many details of the case, raising criticism about Israeli censorship laws in an era when the affair was widely reported everywhere else on the Internet.
 
Breaking official silence on the case, Israeli Prime Benjamin Netanyahu defended the security establishment, saying that secrecy is a necessity.
 
Netanyahu told his Cabinet that Israel faces threats unlike any other nation, and exposing intelligence operations can seriously compromise state security.
 
But Australia wants answers, especially after Mossad agents allegedly used Australian passports in the assassination of a senior operative of the Palestinian militant group Hamas in Dubai in 2010. Australia angrily expelled a member of the Israeli Embassy in retaliation.
 
Australian media say Prisoner X used Australian passports in Mossad operations in Iran and several Arab countries. The media reports say he contacted Australian authorities and planned to expose the use of the passports in operations, prompting his arrest by Israel.

You May Like

Photogallery Ukraine: Russian Forces Tightening Grip on East

And new United Nations report documents human rights abuses committed by both sides in conflict More

Locust Swarms Fill Antananarivo Skies

FAO-led control efforts halted plague More

South Africa’s Plan to Move Rhinos May Not Stop Poaching

Experts say international coordination needed to follow the money trail and bring down rhino horn kingpins More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?i
X
Henry Ridgwell
August 29, 2014 12:26 AM
U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Pachyderms Play Polo to Raise Money for Elephants

Polo, the ancient team competition typically played on horseback, is known as the “sport of kings.” However, the royal version for one annual event in Thailand swaps the horse for the kingdom’s national symbol - the elephant. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Samut Prakan reports that the King’s Cup Elephant Polo tournament is all for a good cause.
Video

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

The United States along with European and Mideast allies are considering a broader assault against Islamic State fighters who have spread from Syria into Iraq and risk further destabilizing an already troubled region. But as VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports, confronting those militants could end up helping the embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Video

Video Made in America Socks Get Toehold in Online Fashion Market

Three young entrepreneurs are hoping to revolutionize the high-end sock industry by introducing all-American creations of their own. And they’re doing most of it the old-fashioned way. VOA’s Julie Taboh recently caught up with them to learn what goes into making their one-of-a-kind socks.
Video

Video Americans, Ex-Pats Send Relief Supplies to West Africa

Health organizations from around the world are sending supplies and specialists to the West African countries that are dealing with the worst Ebola outbreak in history. On a smaller scale, ordinary Americans and African expatriates living in the United States are doing the same. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video America's Most Popular Artworks Displayed in Public Places

Public places in cities across America were turned into open-air art galleries in August. Pictures of the nation’s most popular artworks were displayed on billboards, bus shelters, subway platforms and more. The idea behind “Art Everywhere,” a collaborative campaign by five major museums is to allow more people to enjoy art and learn about the country’s culture and history. Faiza Elmasry has more.
Video

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

Israel and the Gaza Strip have been calm since a cease-fire set in Tuesday evening, ending seven weeks of hostilities. Hamas, which controls Gaza, declared victory. Israelis were more wart. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video India’s Leprosy Battle Stymied by Continuing Stigma

Medical advancements in the treatment of leprosy have greatly diminished its impact around the world, largely eliminating the disease from most countries. India made great strides in combating leprosy, but still accounts for a majority of the world’s new cases each year, and the number of newly infected Indians is rising - more than 130,000 recorded last year. Doctors there say the problem has more to do with society than science. Shaikh Azizur Rahman reports from Kolkata.
Video

Video Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocks

How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid