Thursday, October 27, 2005

Israel Spies Clerical Error

Not much to add to this article:

Jerusalem: Israel has blamed a clerical error for a Government statement that appeared to admit that its Mossad intelligence agency operated in New Zealand last year.

The arrest in Auckland of two Israelis who confessed to trying to fraudulently obtain a New Zealand passport soured diplomatic ties. Israel apologised over the incident but made no comment on Wellington's charges that the men were spies.

Announcing talks yesterday between the Foreign Minister, Silvan Shalom, and the New Zealand ambassador, Jan Henderson, an Israeli Government statement noted that the meeting would be the first of its kind "since the incident with the Mossad".

Asked if this constituted an official admission, a Foreign Ministry spokesman, Mark Regev, said "incident with the Mossad" should have been in inverted commas to reflect that, as far as Israel was concerned, espionage was a New Zealand allegation.

"We have never said more than we have said in the case," Mr Regev said. "This issue has been solved in a satisfactory way with the New Zealand Government."


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