The Israeli government has agreed to compensate the Australian family of Mossad agent Ben Zygier, apparently to avoid ongoing media coverage that could threaten national security.

A statement issued by the Israeli Ministry of Justice confirmed a four million shekels ($A1.19 million) settlement has been reached with the family of the Melbourne-born spy who hanged himself in an Israeli prison in December 2010.

"The State of Israel agreed to the compensation in order to prevent further legal deliberations that may have led to the publication of information which could have caused substantial damage to national security," says an unofficial translation of the Hebrew statement obtained by AAP.

The settlement was reached after Mr Zygier's family claimed Israeli authorities were "negligent" in events surrounding his death.

An investigation released in April found Mr Zygier, who held Israeli and Australian citizenship and was known as Prisoner X, was not adequately supervised by prison authorities when he hanged himself.

The long-term detainee and father of two was visited by his wife on the morning of his suicide. She apparently asked him for a divorce, the report said.

"Under the agreement, the family receives a series of payments totalling four million shekels without attributing fault or liability to the state," the statement continued.

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade said it had no further information about the matter.

"This is a matter for the family and the Israeli government," a spokesperson said in a statement.

Comment was being sought from Julie Bishop, who is expected to be named foreign minister.

* Readers seeking support and information about suicide prevention can contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or MensLine Australia on 1300 78 99 78

 

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