A Palestinian poet, an Australian artist, and a Mossad-led assassination in Italy

Family albums have a habit of turning up surprises. When Jesse Cox found a photo of his great aunt, Australian painter Janet Venn-Brown, casually hanging out with the former chairman of the Palestinian Liberation Organisation, Yasser Arafat, he was curious to find out more. What he uncovered was a story of love, murder and mystery.

Jesse Cox at the Australian Broadcasting Company:

6416666-3x2-700x467On 16 October 1972, Palestinian writer and translator Wael Zuaiter was assassinated in Rome by Mossad, Israel's secret service.

To this day there remain conflicting theories about why Zuaiter was targeted.

Was he involved in terrorism, or was he becoming too influential in Italian politics, advocating for Palestine? Or perhaps most tragically: was it a mistake, a hastily conceived plan resulting from inaccurate intelligence?

On the evening he was killed, Zuaiter had left the apartment of his fiancée, Australian painter Janet Venn-Brown. Janet is my great aunt and growing up I had heard fragments of Zuaiter's story from my mum.

I remember going to see Stephen Spielberg's Munich with her and watching a dramatised version of Zuaiter's assassination played out on the screen. I became intrigued by how our family had somehow been caught up in this much bigger story.

More here.