A “former Mossad chief” underwent a liver transplant in a Belarus hospital at the beginning of October, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko stated at a press conference Tuesday evening, sparking speculation in Israel that the patient was Meir Dagan.

Lukashenko said that surgeons in several countries, including the US, Germany and Sweden, had refused to operate on the patient after learning of his former career as a spymaster, though he didn’t mention Dagan by name. The president added that doctors in these countries had recommended the Belarusian Transplant Center as the best place for the man to undergo his operation.

When Belarusian doctors realized their patient’s identity and told the president, Lukashenko reportedly told them to “tell the general that like any doctor anywhere, we cannot promise anything, but we will do everything so that [the operation] is carried out with the most up-to-date technology.”

The patient was hospitalized in a sterile room for fear of infection, with his doctors waiting to see whether his body would absorb the transplanted organ.

Dagan’s family would not comment on the matter.

Dagan retired from the IDF as a major-general in 1995 and was appointed head of the Mossad in 2002. His tenure was extended twice.

Foreign media attribute several high-profile assassinations to agents working under his command, including that of Hezbollah operations officer Imad Mughniyeh in Damascus on February 12, 2008.

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