Israel Checking Reports Its Nationals Helped Train Colombiandrug Hit Squads

Israel said Wednesday that it is seriously investigating an NBC News report that Israeli nationals were helping train “hit squads” for the Colombian drug cartel.

A statement by the Foreign Ministry said if the reports are true, the individuals involved are acting on their own.

“Such actions would be in violation of Israeli law and would be contrary to Israeli policy, which is strongly committed to the war on drugs,” the statement said.

It added that authorities are “will take all possible steps to prevent such activities.”

In Washington, the State Department said Tuesday that it was “looking into the reports.”

NBC News broadcast Monday what was purported to be a videotape made by a Colombian drug syndicate. It showed uniformed men being trained and the faces of the trainers, who NBC said were South Africans and Israelis.

One identified as an Israeli was shown speaking Hebrew, which was translated into Spanish.

The Colombian drug traffickers are known to maintain armed gangs and assassination squads. They are believed responsible for the murder this week of presidential candidate Luis Carlos Galan.

Knesset sources suggested Wednesday that the police find out whether legal charges could be brought against Israelis who made unauthorized use of knowledge and skills acquired in the army.

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