Mordechai Vanunu Returns to Israel

September 30, 1986

Mordechai Vanunu, an Israeli nuclear technician who leaked details of Israel’s nuclear program to the British press, is brought to Israel, one day after being lured to Italy from London by an undercover female Mossad agent posing as an American. From Italy, Vanunu was taken to Israel where he was put on trial and on March 28, 1988 he was found guilty and sentenced to 18 years in prison, most of them in total isolation. After completing his sentence he was released on April 21, 2004 with restrictions on his movements.

Vanunu had been fired in 1985 from his position at the Dimona nuclear reactor for espousing political views that were deemed as harmful to Israel’s security.  Following his termination, Mordechai Vanunu left Israel and went to Australia where he gave a detailed interview to the London Sunday Times newspaper describing Israel’s nuclear capabilities and providing photos of the reactor which he had taken clandestinely.  The interview led to many Israeli leaders denying that the country had achieved nuclear weapons with the Israel Atomic Energy Commission refusing to respond to reports about Israel “in a nuclear context.”