Report: Israel’s ‘Prisoner X’ Was Poised to Uncover Italy Spy Mission

Netanyahu Pushed to Keep Info About Detainee Secret

Despite the Israeli Prime Minister’s determination to keep as much of the affair secret as possible and his recent admonishment to Israelis to mind their own business, information surrounding the Prisoner X scandal with Australian detainee Ben Zygier continues to trickle out, providing some answers but increasing the number of questions.

The latest reports are that Zygier, who was recruited by Mossad, was turning over information about passport forgery to the Australian spy agency ASIO and was also going to uncover a Mossad operation in Italy.

Which adds the question “what secret Mossad operation in Italy.” That unfortunately remains a secret but it could be related to Zygier’s own role in a Mossad front company selling “electronics” to Iran, and Zygier had sought an Italian work visa before his disappearance by Israeli security forces.

Another question surrounds the suspicious nature of Zygier’s death, as he was deposited in a supposedly “suicide-proof” Israeli prison cell under an assumed name and somehow managed to die in what officials ruled a “suicide.” How that happened remains unclear.

As those questions grow, reports have emerged that Netanyahu was opposed in his decision to keep the affair secret by Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz, another top member of the Likud Party. Steinitz was concerned that keeping the matter a secret from the Israeli parliament could have serious ramifications. That appears to be increasingly the case.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.