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Lekem, (also pronounced "Lakam") an acronym for ha-Lishka le-Kishrei Mada, Bureau of Scientific Relations), was an Israeli intelligence agency of Israel's Defense Ministry. It was headed by Benjamin Blumberg (1957–1981), and Rafi Eitan (1981–1986). It collected scientific and technical intelligence abroad from both open and covert sources, particularly for Israel's nuclear program. It was disbanded in 1986 following the arrest of Jonathan Pollard for espionage on behalf of Israel. Pollard was a United States Navy intelligence employee in the Naval Antiterrorist Alert Center in Washington, D.C. He was paid for delivering large amounts of classified documents to Lekem agents. Pollard was convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment.[1] . LAKAM was established to assist Israel in obtaining technology for the construction of the nuclear reactor in Dimona. It worked to "steal" defense technology throughout the world on behalf of Israel's defense industries.[2]

Lakam was founded in 1957 by Shimon Peres in 1957, with Binyamin Blumberg as its first head.[3] It was abolished in the wake of the Jonathan Pollard affair with responsibility for technological espionage passing to other agencies.[4]


External resources


  1. Hoffman, Gil Netanyahu: Pollard acted as Israeli agent Jerusalem Post. June 22, 2010.
  2. Analysis: Old affair will cause new damage, by Yaakov Katz, Jerusalem Post, 23 April 2008.
  3. Dan Raviv and Yossi Melman, Every Spy a Prince, Houghton Mifflin, 1991, p.69.
  4. Dan Raviv and Yossi Melman, Every Spy a Prince, Houghton Mifflin, 1991, p.322.