Following over a week of controversy internationally, Israel said it would investigate the arrest and death of an Australian-Israel citizen referred to as just Prisoner X. The man’s arrest and then subsequent death while in a prison cell in Israel remained cloaked in great mystery.
A committee in Parliament announced on Sunday that an inquiry would take place saying it would investigate all aspects of what took place involving the death of the man in December of 2010.
Prisoner X’s case has sparked debate across Israel over the prison system in the country and government censorship. Israel has never revealed the name of the prisoner. Reports in the media described the prisoner as a man who committed suicide in a prison cell in Israel by hanging himself. However, the details about what actually happened and why have remained elusive.
Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel’s Prime Minister, said the government of Israel is committed to the freedom of expression. Netanyahu did warn however, that overexposure of intelligence and security activity could be harmful to the state’s security.
The Prime Minister said Israel was not like many other countries. He said Israel is an exemplary democracy as the rights of those under investigation and individual rights are maintained as much as in all other countries.
However, Israel is threatened more and faces many more challenges and its agencies of security must maintain their proper activity. He insisted that the security forces must continue their work quietly allowing for the people in Israel to live with tranquility and security.
A gag order has been in place for two years not allowing local journalists to tell the true story of what happened to Prisoner X. However, a report from last week in Australia brought the case to light. The report said the prisoner had been recruited to work for Israel’s spy agency Mossad. He was identified as Ben Zygier.