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DATE=2/27/98
TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
NUMBER=2-227382
TITLE=ISRAEL / MOSSAD (L)
BYLINE=AL PESSIN
DATELINE=JERUSALEM
CONTENT=
VOICED AT: 
INTRO:  ISRAEL HAS FORMALLY APOLOGIZED TO SWITZERLAND FOR AN 
INCIDENT IN WHICH ISRAELI MOSSAD INTELLIGENCE AGENTS WERE 
ARRESTED IN THE SWISS CAPITAL, AND THEN ISRAELI OFFICIALS LEAKED 
NEWS OF THE EVENT.  V-O-A'S AL PESSIN REPORTS FROM JERUSALEM.
TEXT:  ISRAELI FOREIGN MINISTRY SPOKESMAN AVIV SHIRON SAYS THE 
APOLOGY WAS DELIVERED TO THE SWISS FOREIGN MINISTRY IN BERN BY 
ISRAEL'S AMBASSADOR ON FRIDAY.  MR. SHIRON SAYS IT WAS SIGNED BY 
THE DIRECTOR GENERAL OF THE ISRAELI FOREIGN MINISTRY, EITAN BEN 
TZUR. 
                   ///  SHIRON ACTUALITY  ///
         BEN TZUR ACTUALLY EXPRESSES REGRET IN THE NAME OF THE 
         STATE OF ISRAEL ABOUT THE INCIDENT AND THE COMPLICATIONS
         CAUSED BY IT TO THE SWISS GOVERNMENT.  
                     ///  END ACTUALITY  ///
SWITZERLAND HAD DEMANDED THE APOLOGY AS A CONDITION FOR RELEASING
THE ONE ISRAELI AGENT IT STILL HOLDS IN THE CASE.  MR. SHIRON 
INDICATED ISRAEL HOPES THIS LETTER WILL FULFILL THAT REQUIREMENT.
                   ///  SHIRON ACTUALITY  ///
         WE EXPECT THAT IT WOULD CONTRIBUTE TO A SPEEDY RESULT OF
         THE PROBLEMS THAT ARE NOW ON THE AGENDA, AND THAT THE 
         GOOD RELATIONS WOULD CONTINUE.  
                     ///  END ACTUALITY  ///
THE MAN IN CUSTODY AND FOUR OTHER AGENTS WERE ARRESTED WHILE 
ALLEGEDLY PLANTING LISTENING DEVICES LAST WEEK IN AN APARTMENT 
BUILDING IN BERN, WHERE ONE OF THE TENANTS WAS SUSPECTED OF BEING
CONNECTED TO A PALESTINIAN OR LEBANESE MILITANT GROUP.  THE FOUR 
OTHER AGENTS FLED SWITZERLAND AFTER LOCAL POLICE RELEASED THEM ON
THE NIGHT OF THE INCIDENT.
THE SWISS AND ISRAELI GOVERNMENTS WERE HANDLING THE INCIDENT 
QUIETLY UNTIL LEAKS FROM MOSSAD BROUGHT THE STORY TO LIGHT THIS 
WEEK, ANGERING BOTH ISRAELI AND SWISS LEADERS.
THE MOSSAD DIRECTOR RESIGNED ON TUESDAY, PARTLY BECAUSE OF THIS  
INCIDENT BUT ALSO BECAUSE OF ANOTHER BOTCHED OPERATION IN JORDAN 
LAST YEAR.  THAT PROBLEM CAUSED ISRAEL EVEN GREATER EMBARRASSMENT
AND FORCED IT TO RELEASE DOZENS OF PALESTINIAN PRISONERS TO EASE 
THE ANGER OF KING HUSSEIN.
ISRAELI OFFICIALS AND COMMENTATORS SAY THE SWITZERLAND INCIDENT 
IS  NOT  AS SERIOUS, BUT THEY ARE CONCERNED THAT IT WAS LEAKED BY
MOSSAD OFFICIALS SWORN TO KEEP SECRETS.  THE MOSSAD PEOPLE WERE 
APPARENTLY TRYING TO SPEED THEIR BOSS' RESIGNATION BECAUSE THEY 
WERE DISGRUNTLED ABOUT HIS PERFORMANCE AND OTHER INTERNAL ISSUES.
(SIGNED) 
NEB/AWP/JWH
27-Feb-98 10:54 AM EST (1554 UTC)
NNNN
Source: Voice of America
.



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