Hounam to appeal against ban on returning to Israel

Hounam: ‘not a security threat’

Sunday Times journalist Peter Hounam is to appeal against his ban on visiting Israel, writes Dominic Ponsford.

He was detained by Israeli security services last month, questioned about his connection with freed nuclear whistle-blower Mordechai Vanunu and then asked to leave the country.

Hounam found out this week that he had been banned from re-entering Israel. He broke the Vanunu story for The Sunday Times in 1986 and returned to the paper on a freelance basis following Vanunu’s release from prison in April.

He said: “They see me as a security threat and that I might uncover secret information – which is my job. I’m not a security threat and any idea that I could threaten the security of Israel is ludicrous.

“It shows just how paranoid and over-sensitive the Israeli authorities are being over this whole affair. I just wish they would let Mordechai go and we could all get on with our lives.”

Vanunu’s petition against restrictions stopping him leaving Israel was due to be heard on 28 June, but has been postponed.

The Sunday Times has urged its readers to sign a coupon backing Vanunu’s appeal.

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