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Israeli minister calls for prosecution of former spy chief

February 20, 2014 at 3:33 pm

An Israeli minister has called for the prosecution of the former head of the country’s intelligence service, Mossad. Science and Technology Minister Daniel Hershkowitz made his call following recent statements made by Meir Dagan regarding Israel’s government actions, which he described as “adventurous”.

Mr Dagan made his criticisms of the government in a speech at Tel Aviv University on 31st May. He said that the Israeli government should adopt the Saudi peace initiative to preserve Israel’s interests and ensure its continuing existence. Under the Saudi plan, Israel would withdraw to the pre-June 1967 borders in return for full normalisation of relations with the Arab world. He added that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s “adventurous” approach to Iran would end up with Israel engaged in a regional war.

According to Mr Hershkowitz, if a person has left an official position and then speaks about what Israel can or cannot do, he is exposing himself to legal accountability. His remarks were reported by Israel’s Channel Ten television station. The minister expressed his surprise at the behaviour of the former Mossad chief, accusing him of “risking the safety of Israelis”.

This is not the first time that Dagan has caused a stir with his statements. Earlier this year he said that Iran would not be capable of having a nuclear weapon before 2015, which angered Netanyahu. The prime minister claimed that the ex-spy chief’s claims weakened the Israeli case for action to be taken against Tehran now to stop it acquiring nuclear technology.