Photo: Tomeriko
Mordechai Vanunu during his arrest
Photo: Tomeriko
Vanunu nabbed on Palestinian bus
Nuclear whistleblower caught near Jerusalem; may have violated release terms

Nuclear spy Mordechai Vanunu, who was released from jail last year, was discovered riding on a Palestinian bus making its way from the West Bank village of al-Ram to Jerusalem.


Vanunu was spotted by police officers who checked the bus at a West Bank checkpoint. He was taken into investigation in a northern Jerusalem police station.


Police spokesman, Mickey Rosenfeld, told Reuters that Vanunu was taken to the International Crimes Unit for questioning in order to check whether his visit to the West Bank constitutes a violation of restrictions imposed after his release from prison in 2004.


Rosenfeld added that the bus Vanunu took originated in the Palestinian village of al-Ram, but declined to speculate on what the whistleblower was doing there.


Vanunu was released from prison in April 2004 after 18 years. He was convicted of revealing Israel's nuclear secrets to the British

Sunday Times magazine while working as a radiation inspector in Dimona's nuclear reactor. He was caught by Mossad agents in an apartment building in Rome, and was smuggled to Israel by sea.


Vanunu spent the last 18 years in a separate unit of Ashkelon's Shikma prison. A day before he was released, former Interior Minister Avraham Poraz signed on his release terms.


According to the restrictions, Vanunu must report on all his moves in advance and is forbidden to approach air and sea ports or areas controlled by the Palestinian Authority. Whenever he wishes to spend the night somewhere other than his residence or to leave his town, he must inform the commander of the closest police station at least 24 hours in advance.


In addition, Vanunu is forbidden to take part in Internet chats without permission or to contact foreign citizens and residents or approach foreign representatives without receiving permission in advance.


At the time, the Ministry of Defense explained that "These steps seem very crucial, and despite the partial harm to his freedom of movement, it is proportional considering the security risk he constitutes."


Reuters contributed to the report


פרסום ראשון: 11.18.05, 16:50
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