But Rudd urged the government to consider taking action against Israel as it did in 2010 when an Australian investigation concluded that Israel had counterfeited four Australian passports used by a suspected hit squad that murdered a Hamas official in Dubai. In May 2010, Australia expelled a member of Israeli’s embassy in retaliation.
‘‘The tradition of this government has to be robust on these matters, even with a country with whom we've had the friendliest of relationships,’’ Rudd told Sky News television.
Australia’s Fairfax Media reported last week that Zygier was one of at least three dual Australian-Israeli citizens being investigated by the main Australian spy agency ASIO in early 2010 over suspicions that they were spying for Israel.
The sensational saga has dominated public discourse in Israel since it was first reported by Australian ABC last Tuesday.
Despite a whirlwind of foreign media reports easily accessible on the Internet, Israel maintained a gag order on the case for 24 hours. Late Wednesday, Israel acknowledged parts of the story, saying it had held a dual Israeli citizen under a false name for security reasons, and that he died in prison in 2010 from an apparent suicide.
But Israel has not identified the man, said why he was imprisoned, explained how he committed suicide when he was under 24-hour surveillance or explained why the case was hidden from the public for more than two years.
McGuirk reported from Canberra, Australia.