Controversial ex-Mossad chief ‘fighting for his life’ following operation
October 17, 2012 5 Comments
By JOSEPH FITSANAKIS | intelNews.org |
An Israeli former intelligence chief, who has been voicing strong public criticism of Israeli calls for an all-out war with Iran, is allegedly “fighting for his life” following a transplant operation in Belarus. An announcement aired late on Tuesday by Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said Meir Dagan, who led Israeli covert-action agency Mossad from 2002 to 2010, had undergone a kidney transplant at a hospital in Belarusian capital Minsk. Lukashenko claimed that the former Mossad strongman, who was born in Russia, had decided to undergo the operation in the former Soviet republic after consulting with him personally. The Belarusian president claimed that, prior to traveling to Minsk for the operation, Dagan had asked American, German and Swedish doctors to perform it, but that they refused, allegedly because “no one wanted to carry out a liver transplant operation on a former head of the Mossad”. According to the announcement, the former Mossad Director was operated on over a week ago and initially seemed to be doing well. However, complications soon set in and he is currently “recovering in isolation”, while it appears that his body is not receiving the transplant well. Reputable Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz said that Belarusian media had directed several queries to hospital staff in Minsk, who apparently confirmed that an organ transplant had been performed on a patient who was a citizen of Israel. But they refused to give the person’s name due to patient confidentiality rules. It is not clear why Dagan had to leave Israel in order to undergo the operation, or why he failed to notify the Israeli embassy in Belarus. Israeli diplomats in Minks told Israeli media that they had no idea about Dagan’s medical procedure or even presence in the eastern European country. A statement from the embassy said that it “had nothing to do” with Dagan’s trip to Belarus. Soon after resigning his Mossad post in 2010, Dagan admonished calls by Israeli government officials to bomb Iran as “the stupidest idea” he had ever heard. IntelNews regulars may remember that on September 16, the CBS flagship investigative program 60 Minutes aired again an important interview about Iran with Dagan, which was first broadcast on March 11 of this year. In it, Dagan argued that a strike “at this time” against Iran would be both “a stupid idea” and a mistake, both strategically and tactically. He also explained that an air attack without the aid of ground troops’ would be ineffective in neutralizing Iran’s nuclear program, since nobody knew how many nuclear installations existed in that vast country.