Israeli right-wing chief named as informant TV says leader of Eyal spied for government


JERUSALEM -- The leader of the militant right-wing group Eyal, who was arrested after the assassination of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and then freed, was named by Israeli television last night as an informer for the country's domestic security service.

Israeli television reported that security officials had confirmed that Avishai Raviv infiltrated the radical right in Israel two years ago to supply information about plans by militants to stage attacks against Arabs and Israeli government leaders.

An Eyal spokesman who answered Mr. Raviv's telephone yesterday denied that he was an informer. But Mr. Raviv's lawyer, Inbal Rubinstein, was less categorical. "It doesn't seem logical to me, but anything is possible," she said.

Mr. Raviv reportedly failed to deliver crucial information about the planned assassination of Mr. Rabin because he did not know of preparations by the gunman, Yigal Amir, to shoot the prime minister two weeks ago.

At a hearing after his initial arrest, Mr. Raviv conceded that he had heard talk about killing Mr. Rabin. "There was a lot of talk," he was quoted as saying. "But no one took Yigal seriously. It's common in our circles to talk about attacking public figures."

Immediately after the assassination, Eyal, a Hebrew acronym for Fighting Jewish Organization, claimed responsibility for it. Mr. Amir was known to have links with Mr. Raviv and Eyal, an offshoot of Kach, a militant Jewish group founded by Rabbi Meir Kahane, who was gunned down in New York in 1990.

The Israeli Cabinet is expected to decide on tough new measures against the radical religious right at its weekly meeting today.

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