Former head of Israel’s spy agency Mossad Meir Dagan seeks liver transplant in Belarus after European and US surgeons 'refuse to treat him' - Middle East - World - The Independent

Former head of Israel’s spy agency Mossad Meir Dagan seeks liver transplant in Belarus after European and US surgeons 'refuse to treat him'

 

Jerusalem

Meir Dagan, the former head of Israel’s spy agency Mossad, has been forced to seek a liver transplant in Belarus, Europe’s most autocratic state, after European and American surgeons reportedly refused to treat him. He is said to be in critical condition.

Alexander Lukashenko, Belarus’ hardline ruler, leaked details of the highly-secret medical operation late yesterday, revealing the patient’s identity only as a former head of Mossad. Israeli media worked out that the patient was Meir Dagan, 67, who stepped down as head of the spy agency last year.

Portraying himself as the Israeli’s last hope, Mr Lukashenko, who has funneled his country’s resources into shoring up the country’s dictatorship, said that he agreed to take in the high-profile patient after America, Sweden and Germany refused. “No one wanted to conduct this operation on a former head of the Mossad,” Israeli media quoted him as saying at a news conference.

Israeli officials have in recent years encountered growing hostility on trips abroad, particularly in Europe, and Britain moved to tighten its universal jurisdiction laws, which allowed the prosecution of foreign officials in the UK for international crimes, after pro-Palestinian groups sought the arrest of former foreign minister Tzipi Livni during a trip to Britain for alleged war crimes in Gaza.

Members of Mr Dagan’s family, contacted by Israeli journalists, refuted Mr Lukashenko’s version of events, stating that the former spy chief had never approached Sweden for a new liver, and that he only chose Belarus because he would have had to endure a lengthy wait in both Germany and the US.

Since undergoing the transplant 10 days ago, Mr Dagan is understood to be in a critical but stable condition after complications set in. He is thought to be in isolation in a hospital in Belarus still.

“His condition is not good,” the Israel Hayom newspaper quoted an associate as saying. “It's still unclear whether the transplant was successful and there have been a few troubling signs following the surgery.”

Born on a train in 1945 as his family was deported from the Soviet Union to a Nazi camp in Poland, Mr Dagan became one of Israel’s longest-serving spy chiefs, serving as head of the agency during one of its most aggressive periods, controversially targeting Palestinian militants for assassination.

Under Mr Dagan’s watch, Mossad has also been credited with the bombing of Syria’s nuclear reactor in 2007, and with the assassinations of Iranian nuclear scientists. The agency is also believed responsible for the killings of Hezbollah commander Imad Mughniyeh in Damascus and Brig. Gen. Mohammed Suleiman, a senior figure in Syrian intelligence.

Mr Dagan stepped down from the agency at the beginning of last year after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu refused to extend his term. The end of his career was mired by the bungled assassination of a Hamas arms dealer in Dubai, widely believed to be a Mossad operation. Israeli agents were accused of using forged foreign, including British, identities to slip into Dubai, and Britain expelled a Mossad official over the affair, drawing a line under one of the more humiliating episodes in the spy agency’s history.

After leaving the state’s employ, Mr Dagan emerged as one of the most outspoken detractors of a pre-emptive Israeli strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities, describing the idea last year as the “stupidest thing I have ever heard.”

Colleagues close to Mr Dagan reportedly criticised Belarus for leaking the whereabouts of the former spy chief, arguing that it put him in danger from groups seeking revenge.

News
John Travolta is a qualified airline captain and employed the pilot with his company, Alto
people'That was the lowest I’d ever felt'
Life and Style
healthIt isn’t greasy. It doesn’t smell. And moreover, it costs nothing
News
peopleThe report and photo dedicated to the actress’s decolletage has, unsurprisingly, provoked anger
Property
Home body: Badger stays safe indoors
property
PROMOTED VIDEO
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
News
The programme sees four specialists creating what they believe are three perfect couples, based on scientific matchmaking. The couples will not meet until they walk down the aisle together
tvUK wedding show jilted
Arts and Entertainment
US pop diva Jennifer Lopez sang “Happy Birthday” to Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow, president of Turkmenistan
musicCorporate gigs become key source of musicians' income
Arts and Entertainment
You've been framed: Henri Matisse's colourful cut-outs at Tate Modern
artWhat makes a smash-hit art show
Arts and Entertainment
While many films were released, few managed to match the success of James Bond blockbuster 'Skyfall'
filmsDaniel Craig believed to be donning skis as 007 for first time
Sport
Mikel Arteta pictured during Borussia Dortmund vs Arsenal
champions league
Voices
Yes supporters gather outside the Usher Hall, which is hosting a Night for Scotland in Edinburgh
voicesBen Judah: Is there a third option for England and Scotland that keeps everyone happy?
Arts and Entertainment
Pulp-fiction lover: Jarvis Cocker
booksJarvis Cocker on Richard Brautigan
Arts and Entertainment
Robin Thicke and Pharell Williams in the video of the song, which has been accused of justifying rape
music...and he had 'almost no part' in writing it
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Senior QA Engineer - Agile, SCRUM

£35000 - £50000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Senior QA Engineer (Agil...

Marketing Executive - West Midlands - £28,000

£26000 - £28000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Digital Marketing Executive (SEO, PP...

Retail Business Analyst

£40000 - £50000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our retail client ...

Senior C++ Developer

£400 - £450 Per Annum possibly more for the right candidate: Clearwater People...

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week