Israel 'could kidnap Ahmadinejad'

An Israeli cabinet minister has suggested Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad could be kidnapped by Israel over threats he has made against the country.

Former spy Rafi Eitan was involved in the operation to kidnap Nazi mastermind Adolf Eichmann and bring him to trial.

Ahmadinejad is feared and reviled in Israel because of his repeated calls to wipe the Jewish state off the map. His aggressive pursuit of nuclear technology has only fueled Israel's fears.

"A man like Ahmadinejad who threatens genocide has to be brought for trial in The Hague," seat of the international war crimes tribunal, Eitan said today. "And all options are open in terms of how he should be brought."

Asked if kidnapping was acceptable, Eitan replied, "Yes. Any way to bring him for trial in The Hague is a possibility."

Eitan, a member of Israel's inner cabinet of ministers with security responsibilities, said he was expressing his own opinion and nothing more.

Eitan, now 81, was one of the Mossad agents who kidnapped Eichmann from Argentina in 1960 and brought him to Israel, where he was tried and executed for carrying out Adolf Hitler's "final solution" to kill European Jews.

Eitan later headed a shadowy defence ministry unit that recruited Jonathan Pollard, a Jewish-American naval analyst who was caught spying for Israel in 1985 and sentenced to life in prison. The affair was one of the most damaging episodes in Israel-US relations.