BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific Arabic Spanish Russian Chinese Welsh

 You are in: World: Middle East
Front Page 
Middle East 
South Asia 
From Our Own Correspondent 
Letter From America 
UK Politics 
Talking Point 
In Depth 

Commonwealth Games 2002

BBC Sport

BBC Weather

Thursday, 27 December, 2001, 17:43 GMT
Court blocks Sharon appointment
Ehud Yatom
Ehud Yatom called the court ruling "absurd"
Israel's High Court has ruled that a former senior security agent who admitted killing two Palestinian prisoners is unfit to take up the post of chief counter-terrorism adviser to Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.

Ehud Yatom said in an interview five years ago that he had used a rock to crush the skulls of two Palestinians shortly after they were captured during a bus hijacking in 1984.

I acted for the security of my country

Ehud Yatom

Mr Yatom, a brother of an ex-Mossad chief, Israel's external security organisation, called the court ruling "absurd":

"The decision shows that the court is disconnected from the nation", the former Shin Bet operative said.

"I acted for the security of my country."

The petition against the appointment by Prime Minister Sharon had been brought by two deputies of Israel's left-wing Meretz Party.

Mr Sharon said he would not interfere in the court's ruling, although he felt Mr Yatom was fit for the anti-terrorism position.


The killings in 1984, known as the "Bus 300 Affair", were originally covered up.

A government report later revealed that the Shin Bet chief at the time, Avraham Shalom, had ordered the two Palestinians killed.

Ehud Yatom and 10 other Shin Bet personnel involved in the incident were pardoned in 1986 by the then-president Chaim Herzog.

The High Court said on Thursday, the order Mr Yatom was given 17 years ago was illegal and should not have been carried out.

Mr Yatom is now considering running for a seat in Israel's parliament, the Knesset.

See also:

01 Aug 01 | Middle East
Israel's undercover assassins
17 Oct 01 | Middle East
Questions over Israel security failure
15 Jun 01 | Middle East
Row over Israeli counter-terror head
Internet links:

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Middle East stories are at the foot of the page.

E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Middle East stories