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New details in Dubai assassination of Hamas leader

by Brad A. Greenberg

February 17, 2010 | 8:23 pm

Maybe you’ve heard that Mossad agents are suspected by Dubai of assassinating a Hamas leading during a trip to the emirate. Today the British government summoned the Israeli ambassador to see why six of the passports used by a suspected 11-person hit squad belonged to British-born Israelis. Many more new details from Haaretz:

Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said earlier on Wednesday that there was no proof Israel’s Mossad spy agency was behind the assassination, after it emerged that some members of the hit squad involved in the killing had used the identities of foreign-born Israelis.

Lieberman did not deny outright Israeli involvement in the killing, saying only that Israel has a “policy of ambiguity” on intelligence matters and there was no proof it was behind the assassination.

“There is no reason to think that it was the Israeli Mossad, and not some other intelligence service or country up to some mischief,” Lieberman said when asked about the operation and the identity-theft.

Rafi Eitan, a former government minister and high-ranking Mossad official, denied Israel’s involvement flat-out.

“The Mossad was not behind the assassination of Mahmoud al-Mabhouh, but rather a foreign organization that is trying to frame Israel,” he told the radio station.

Men with the same names as seven of the 11 suspects whose European passport photos were distributed by Dubai this week reside in Israel, and those reached by reporters insisted their identities had been stolen and noted the pictures were not a match.

Six of the men are Britons who immigrated to Israel. The seventh is an American Israeli, whose name Dubai said was on a German passport used by one of the assassins.

As the mystery over suspects’ identities deepened, Britain and Ireland said they believed the British and Irish passports used by the alleged killers were forged.

Read the rest here.

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