LONDON (Nov. 3)
Former Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion’s White Book, submitted last week to Dov Joseph, Israel’s Minister of Justice, contains a revelation that a West German working as a secret agent for Israel betrayed an entire network of Israeli agents in Egypt in the 1954 security mishap which brought about the ouster of Pinhas Lavon as Israel Defense Minister, a British correspondent reported here today.
Terence Prittie, diplomatic correspondent of the Guardian, who has just returned from Israel, said the memorandum contained “sensational revelations” about the “competing and interlocking” activities of Israeli and Arab secret services, with special emphasis on the activities of Col. Osman Nouri, former chief of the Egyptian intelligence service.
According to Mr. Prittie, the Ben-Gurion report alleges that the Egyptian Colonel won over Paul Frank, the German working for Israel, and that Frank agreed to work for Col. Ilouri and in so doing, betrayed the Israeli network in Egypt, all of them Egyptian Jews. At least two of the Jews were executed, one committed suicide and several others were sentenced to long prison terms.
Mr. Frittie also says that, according to Ben-Gurion’s report, Frank later collaborated again with Nouri when the latter was sent to Bonn to develop Egyptian secret service activities there. Frank’s collaboration with Egypt in Bonn was discovered by West Germany and Frank was tried there and sent to prison for 12 years.
The British journalist described Nouri as apparently Egypt’s most successful exponent of counter-intelligence against Israel and the chief architect of Egypt’s intelligence network in Europe.
The most interesting item in the Ben-Gurion report, Mr. Prittie writes, was that Egypt had sent Col. Nouri to Nigeria as its ambassador and that Nouri was believed to have had a principal role in efforts to organize opposition to Mrs. Golda Meir, Israel’s Foreign Minister, on her visit there last week. These efforts failed and the Nigerian Government issued a statement warning against any subversive activities which were not in Nigeria’s interests.
Mr. Frittie claims that Ben-Gurion decided to produce his own report on the proceedings involving Frank because he had never been satisfied that Frank had only given information to a foreign power while he was in Germany.