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Former Mossad director, Efraim Halevy, defends Israeli medical assistance to Al Nusra Front fighters

Efraim Halevy, former director of Israel’s national intelligence agency, Mossad, speaks with UpFront:

  • Believes there will be no “blowback” against Israel for “getting into bed with a group like Al Nusra Front.”
  • Points out that Israel “was not specifically targeted by Al Qaeda”
  • Says he would deny similar treatment to Hezbollah fighters, because “we have a different account with Hezbollah”
  • Says “the immediate consideration is humane” but admits assistance to Al Nusra Front fighters could also be “tactical”

(Washington DC – 31st May, 2016) – In a web exclusive with Al Jazeera English’s current affairs show, UpFront, Efraim Halevy, the former head of Mossad, said he is not worried that Israel is treating wounded Al Nusra Front fighters on the Syrian border.

“It’s always useful […] to deal with your enemies in a humane way,” Halevy told UpFront host Mehdi Hasan. Pressed on whether he believed the assistance was purely humanitarian Halevy responded “I didn’t say there’s no tactical [consideration]. I said the main consideration, the immediate consideration is humane.”

Halevy, who served as head of Israeli intelligence and head of Israel’s national security council under prime ministers Netanyahu, Barak and Sharon, denied that there would be any blowback against Israel for “getting in bed” with Al Nusra Front: “No. I don’t think so. I don’t think there’s going to be blowback.”

Asked whether he would also support the treatment of wounded Hezbollah fighters, Halevy said “no, as far as Hezbollah fighters are concerned we have a different account” pointing out that the difference between Hezbollah and Al Nusra Front was that Israel was “not specifically targeted by Al Qaeda”.

You can watch the clip here: http://www.aljazeera.com/programmes/upfront/2016/05/mossad-head-israel-m...

***ENDS***

NOTES FOR EDITORS:

This UpFront web exclusive with Efraim Halevy will be available on Tuesday May 31st at www.aljazeera.com/upfront

If using quotes please credit Al Jazeera English and UpFront and please add this link to online copy www.aljazeera.com/upfront

UpFront broadcasts on Fridays at 19.30 GMT. Follow UpFront on Twitter @AJUpFront