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View all copies of this ISBN edition:. Synopsis About this title In a technician working in Israel's Dimona nuclear reactor photographed Israel's secret manufacture of atom bombs. Buy New View Book. Other Popular Editions of the Same Title. Search for all books with this author and title. Customers who bought this item also bought. The Sunday Times was wary of being duped, especially in light of the recent Hitler Diaries hoax. As a result, the newspaper insisted on verifying Vanunu's story with leading nuclear weapon experts, including former U.
In addition, a reporter, Max Prangnell, was sent to Israel to find people who knew Vanunu and verify his story. Vanunu gave detailed descriptions of lithium-6 separation required for the production of tritium , an essential ingredient of fusion-boosted fission bombs. While both experts concluded that Israel might be making such single-stage boosted bombs, Vanunu, whose work experience was limited to material not component production, gave no specific evidence that Israel was making two-stage thermonuclear bombs, such as neutron bombs.
During his stay in Britain, the Sunday Times initially put Vanunu up in a hotel in London close to the newspaper's premises, but shortly afterward, he was moved to what was considered a safer location: a lodge near Welwyn , in rural Hertfordshire , which was in an obscure location and accessed by a narrow road. Hounam considered it an excellent hiding place. They agreed to meet later.
Hounam speculated that as Oscar Guerrero, who had followed him and Vanunu to London, had already stayed there, Mossad likely had that hotel under surveillance. In September, as the story neared publication, the Sunday Times approached the Israeli Embassy with the story, offering it a chance to rebut the allegations. The Israeli press attache, Eviat Manor, was twice visited by journalists to discuss the story, and on the second visit, was handed some of Vanunu's photographs.
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The material was rushed to Israel for review. The Israeli response denied the allegations, characterizing Vanunu as a minor technician with limited knowledge of the reactor's operations. Vanunu states in his letters that he intended to share the money received from the newspaper for the information with the Anglican Church of Australia. Meanwhile, Guerrero, despite having met Hounam and Vanunu at the airport when they arrived in London and receiving an assurance from Hounam that he would get his money, sold the story to the tabloid Sunday Mirror , whose owner was Robert Maxwell.
In , a self-described former Mossad officer or government translator named Ari Ben-Menashe claimed that Maxwell, allegedly an agent for Israeli intelligence services, had tipped off the Israeli Embassy about Vanunu in The Israeli government decided to capture Vanunu, but determined to avoid harming its good relationship with Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher , and not wanting to risk confrontation with British intelligence, determined Vanunu should be persuaded to leave British territory under his own volition.
Israel's efforts to capture Vanunu were headed by Giora Tzahor. Through constant surveillance and analysis by Mossad psychologists, the Mossad found that Vanunu had become lonely and eager for female companionship. The Noga , disguised as a merchant ship, was fitted with electronic surveillance equipment and satellite communications gear in its superstructure, and was primarily used to intercept communications traffic in Arab ports.
As the ship was heading from Antalya in Turkey back to Haifa, the captain was instructed in an encrypted message to change course for Italy and anchor off the coast. The Noga arrived off the Italian port city of La Spezia and anchored in international waters, just outside Italian territorial waters.
Once in Rome, Vanunu and Bentov took a taxi to an apartment in the old quarter of the city, where three waiting Mossad operatives overpowered Vanunu and injected him with a paralyzing drug. Later that night, a white van hired by the Israeli embassy arrived, and Vanunu was carried to it on a stretcher. The van drove to La Spezia , where the agents took Vanunu to a dock, bound him to a stretcher, and put him on a waiting speedboat, which then rendezvoused with the waiting Noga anchored off the coast.
The crew of the Noga were told to assemble in the ship's common room and lock the door as Vanunu and the Mossad agents were taken aboard. The ship then departed for Israel. During the journey, Vanunu was kept in a cabin on board the ship with Mossad agents routinely interrogating him and taking turns guarding him. None of the Noga' s crew was allowed to look at the prisoner. On 7 October, the ship anchored off the coast of Israel between Tel Aviv and Haifa, where it was met by a smaller vessel to which Vanunu was transferred.
Vanunu was detained in Israel and interrogated. On November 9, , after weeks of press reports speculating that Vanunu had been abducted, the Israeli government confirmed it was holding Vanunu prisoner. On January 6, , he began a hunger strike over his prison conditions. During a visit with his brother Asher and in a letter to his brother Meir, he complained, among other things, of being held in solitary confinement 23 hours a day. When Judy Zimmet traveled to Israel and asked to visit him in prison, prison authorities said they could only meet in the presence of prison officials and with them separated by a glass barrier.
Vanunu rejected these conditions, demanding he be allowed to meet her face to face. After 33 days, Vanunu ended his hunger strike. On August 30, , Vanunu's trial opened. He was charged with treason, aggravated espionage, and collection of secret information with intent to impair state security. Vanunu was initially represented by Amnon Zichroni, then by Avigdor Feldman , a prominent Israeli civil and human rights lawyer.
The prosecutor was Uzi Hasson. Vanunu was not permitted contact with the media but he wrote the details of his abduction or "hijacking", as he put it on the palm of his hand, and while being transported he held his hand against the van's window so that waiting journalists could get the information. The death penalty in Israel is restricted to special circumstances, and only two executions have ever taken place there. In , former Mossad director Shabtai Shavit told Reuters that the option of extrajudicial killing was considered in , but rejected because "Jews don't do that to other Jews.
During his trial, Vanunu was brought to court wearing a motorcycle helmet to conceal his face. On 1 September , while being brought into court, Vanunu tried to take off his helmet and started shouting in an apparent attempt to talk to the reporters nearby. His guards stopped him using physical force, and police sirens were turned on to drown out his voice.
Peter Hounam and Frank Barnaby both testified as defense witnesses for Vanunu. Before appearing in court, Hounam was warned that he would be arrested if he reported on the proceedings or his own testimony. He was allowed to report that he "gave evidence" regarding his "relationship" with Vanunu. On 28 March , Vanunu was convicted and sentenced to eighteen years of imprisonment from the date of his abduction in Rome.
Vanunu served his sentence at Shikma Prison in Ashkelon ,  where he was held in solitary confinement. On May 3, , he appealed his conviction and sentence to the Israeli Supreme Court, and was brought from prison in a closed police vehicle to the Supreme Court for an appeal hearing. In , Vanunu appealed to the Supreme Court for his Israeli citizenship to be revoked. The Interior Minister denied Vanunu's request on grounds that he did not have another citizenship. Many critics argue that Vanunu had no additional information that would pose a real security threat to Israel, and that the Israeli government's real motivation is a desire to avoid political embarrassment and financial complications for itself and allies such as the United States.
By not acknowledging possession of nuclear weapons, Israel avoids a US legal prohibition on funding countries which proliferate weapons of mass destruction. On the basis of this research and my own professional experience, I am ready to challenge any official assertion that Mr.
Vanunu possesses any technical nuclear information not already made public. Vanunu was released from prison on 21 April Surrounded by dozens of journalists and flanked by two of his brothers, he held an impromptu press conference, but refused to answer questions in Hebrew because of the suffering he said he sustained at the hands of the State of Israel.
Vanunu said Israel's Mossad spy agency and the Shin Bet security services tried to rob him of his sanity by keeping him in solitary confinement. Vanunu also called for Israel's nuclear disarmament, and for its dismantlement as a Jewish state. Around supporters and a smaller number of counter-demonstrators attended the conference. Shortly before his scheduled release, Vanunu remained defiant under interrogation by the security service, Shin Bet. In recordings of the interview made public after his release, he is heard saying "I am neither a traitor nor a spy, I only wanted the world to know what was happening.
There needs to be a Palestinian state. Jews can, and have lived anywhere, so a Jewish State is not necessary. He remains stubbornly, admirably uncompromisingly true to his principles, is willing to pay the price", said Ha'aretz newspaper in Following his release, Vanunu moved to an apartment in Jaffa. George's Cathedral in Jerusalem. He regularly receives visitors and sympathizers, and has repeatedly defied the conditions of his release by giving interviews to foreign journalists.
A number of prohibitions were placed upon Vanunu after his release from jail and are still in force:.
On 22 April , Vanunu asked the government of Norway for a Norwegian passport and asylum in the country for "humanitarian reasons", according to Norwegian media. He also sent applications to other countries, and stated that he would accept asylum in any country because he fears for his life. While the Norwegian foreigner directorate State Department UDI had been prepared to grant Vanunu asylum, it was suddenly decided that the application could not be accepted because Vanunu had applied for it from outside of the borders of Norway. An unclassified document revealed that Solberg and the government considered that extracting Vanunu from Israel might be seen as an action against Israel and thereby unfitting the Norwegian government's traditional role as a friend of Israel and as a political player in the Middle East.
Since the information has been revealed, Solberg has rejected criticism and defended her decision. Vanunu's application for asylum in Sweden was also rejected on the grounds that Sweden, like Norway does not accept absentee asylum applications. He also unsuccessfully requested asylum in Ireland, which would require him to first be allowed to leave Israel.
He has not applied for asylum in his native Morocco. In , Amnesty International 's British branch chief, Kate Allen , wrote that Microsoft handed over the details of Vanunu's Hotmail email account by alluding that he was being investigated for espionage. This happened before a court order had been obtained. International calls for his freedom of movement and freedom of speech made by organizations supporting Vanunu have been either ignored or rejected by Israel.
It calls on the Norwegian government to urgently implement a three-point action plan "within the framework of international and Norwegian law" and allow Vanunu to travel to, live and work in Norway. On 11 October , his appeal to rescind the restrictions and allow him to leave Israel and speak to foreigners was denied by the Israeli Supreme Court.
Yedioth Ahronoth' s headline read: "Vanunu gave Hamas activists information on bomb assembly in prison" and a second-page insert entitled, "He's done it again", claimed Vanunu sent messages containing bomb-making information to incarcerated members of Hamas. Avigdor Feldman, Vanunu's defense attorney argued the report was fabricated by Shin Bet. On 7 May , Mordechai Vanunu reported the restrictions denying his right to leave Israel were renewed for the 12th year since he was released from prison.
On 3 June , Minister Vidar Helgesen said Norway had asked Israel to abolish the restrictions against Vanunu leaving Israel for humanitarian considerations. Centre Party foreign policy spokesman Navarsete stated, "I would urge the government to make a difference…it would attract international attention if Norway gave nuclear whistleblower asylum or emergency passport — despite the Israeli sanctions against him.
On 12 August , Mordechai Vanunu and his wife applied for family reunification via the Norwegian embassy in Tel Aviv. Vanunu's exit to Norway must be accepted by Israel and his entry approved by Norway. Norway had previously said that they could only issue emergency passports to people who are already on Norwegian soil. However, his wife is a Professor at the School of Theology in Oslo , and thus fulfills the requirement that one must be able to provide for their spouse.
On 2 September Vanunu granted his first interview to Israel Media in a Channel 2 interview regarding the Mossad operative who trapped him in On 23 December , Vanunu wrote: "Freedom of speech and Freedom of movement. On 30 October Vanunu wrote: "I had a court hearing on 26 October We appealed all the restrictions.
I even spoke to the Judges. They gave to the police 90 days to end their investigation for last arrest, after that they will decide. On 24 February , Vanunu tweeted his latest news regarding Israel's Supreme Court which has ordered the Prosecution to respond no later than 21 April regarding Vanunu's 8th Supreme Court appeal to end all restrictions and allow him to leave Israel.
On 30 January , Vanunu wrote on Facebook that the three Supreme Court judges were to rule "in a few weeks" regarding his latest appeal seeking to end all restrictions against him so that he can leave Israel. And it could be good or nothing, so I am used too all this for 31 years, Freedom Must come. On 2 June , Vanunu reported at his Facebook Wall, "that for the 16th year, after 18 years behind bars" Israel renewed the restrictions against Vanunu "not to meet foreigners, not leave the country". Yossi Melman, an Israeli journalist, wrote in the Israeli newspaper Haaretz "Vanunu's harassment by the Israeli government is unprecedented and represents a distortion of every accepted legal norm.
At this parole hearing, Vanunu's lawyer Avigdor Feldman maintained that his client had no more secrets and should be freed. But the prosecution argued that the imminent war with Iraq would preclude his release.