An Israeli court has given the go-ahead for the publication of ex-Mossad Chief Meir Dagan’s testimony in a murder trial. The accused has claimed that he killed a British tourist in cold blood in part due to the psychological effects of his service in an elite Special Forces unit once commanded by Dagan.
Sayeret Rimon unit operated on the southern front, including Gaza, and is held responsible for killing 290 Palestinians on a wanted list of 300. Dagan told the court that he didn’t count the Palestinians who were killed and that for every one who was killed there were hundreds who were arrested.
Reports in Israel claim that the Israeli Army’s Southern Command is reviving the Sayeret Rimon unit to work undercover in the Gaza Strip. Recruits, it is said, must be fearless and experienced soldiers. Several dozen have been recruited for the unit, whose targets include the leaders of the Palestinian resistance in Gaza.
It is alleged that the then General Ariel Sharon was pleased to see Dagan personally beheading the bodies of the Palestinian fighters killed by the notorious Sayeret Rimon. Reports in Haaretz newspaper claim that some of the unit’s veterans suffered psychological problems because of the nature of the work they carried out under Dagan’s command. A number, it is said, carried out violent crimes as a direct result, they claimed at their trials, of the methods they had used as soldiers in Sayeret Rimon.
Campaigning journalist Gideon Levy of Haaretz revealed details of the atrocities committed by Dagan in Southern Lebanon in the 1980s. He said that if the Israeli military censor has allowed the publication of the details of Dagan’s activities including the beheading of Palestinians, what egregious events are still being kept from the public domain?