The Death of Prisoner X: Alleged Assassin, Hero, Traitor

In Dec. 2010, a prisoner Israel was holding in Ramle's top security Ayalon prison--"Prisoner X"--had killed himself in his cell. 

Prisoner X was a suspected of a being a Mossad agent who had turned on the agency, and was selling names of other agents to the government of Dubai. 

The March 2010 gag order silencing court proceedings surrounding the case of Prisoner X was partially lifted this past week, and for the first time his identity and role in Israeli intelligence is beginning to take shape.

Prisoner X's real name appears to have been Ben Zygier. He was an Australian citizen who immigrated to Israel in 2000, served in the IDF, and later changed his name to Ben Alon. He is suspected of taking part in the Jan. 2010 assassination of Hamas military leader Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in Dubai, and then turning double agent and providing names of Mossad operatives to the Dubai government.

Because Zygier had dual citizenry--Australian/Israeli--many are questioning whether Israeli authorities communicated enough with the Australian government when Zygier was apprehended. 

Moreover, because someone with a story that has the press appeal of Zygier can be held in secret and whose story can be kept secret for so long, Palestinians are asking how many of their citizens might be held in secret by Israel as well. 

In other words, as Israel continues their own investigation into what Zygier did or didn't do, and how bad he may or may not have hurt the Mossad agency, Palestinians and others see yet another opportunity to hurl accusations at the Jewish State. 


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