Channel 1: Livni's past in Mossad not spectacular

Contradicting report in UK paper, TV reporter blows hype of FM conducting 007-style pursuits in Europe.

livni check caption 224. (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
livni check caption 224.
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Several weeks after The Sunday Times ran an article implying Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni's service in the Mossad when she was young was checkered by pursuits of terrorists in European cities, Channel One's investigative reporter Ayala Hasson claimed Tuesday that Livni's experience in the world of international espionage was not as spectacular. According to the report, Livni served in Mossad between 1980 and 1984, between the ages of 22 and 26. Livni, according to Hasson, was hired to live in a Paris apartment simply so that the property would not remain empty. Intelligence agencies customarily hire low level agents to man apartments abroad so as not to raise municipalities' suspicions in case the properties remain abandoned and unused. Such agents need only to generate monthly utility bills to create the appearance that there is an active resident in the property. After her sojourn in Paris, Livni returned to Israel to participate in a course which would qualify her as a field operative. While she was successful in the course, she did not conclude it, leaving the training - and the agency - in order to marry. Unusually, Mossad issued a response corroborating Hasson's findings. While the laconic statement was careful not to disclose the nature of Livni's activity while in Paris, Hasson said she was told by sources in Mossad that no agent can become a field operative before undergoing the appropriate training. Army Radio aired an interview with Livni's brother Eli Tuesday morning. He did not throw any light on his sister's past, only saying that "in the family, there was a lot of hush-hush" and that he knew nothing about Livni's past in the legendary agency.