Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

ENCORE!

Hip-hop musician Beat Assailant on mixing the sounds of the city

Read more

FASHION

Jean-Marc Loubier, bags and shoes.

Read more

#THE 51%

Breaking stereotypes

Read more

REVISITED

In Prijedor, survivors fight to keep memory alive

Read more

FOCUS

Bosnia: Hopes of change among disempowered citizens

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

¡Gracias, Gabo!

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

The Socialist rebellion grows

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Algerian election: Bouteflika votes in wheelchair

Read more

REPORTERS

Indian election: Votes for sale

Read more

  • Abel Ferrara’s hotly awaited DSK film to premiere on web

    Read more

  • Police seek arrest warrant for South Korea ferry captain

    Read more

  • Top Hollande adviser resigns over conflict of interest accusation

    Read more

  • In Prijedor, survivors fight to keep memory alive

    Read more

  • Indian election: Votes for sale

    Read more

  • Video: Tensions remain high in Mariupol despite Geneva deal

    Read more

  • Astronomers discover Earth-like planet that could support life

    Read more

  • West African Ebola outbreak caused by new strain of virus

    Read more

  • Nobel-winning Colombian writer Gabriel Garcia Marquez dies at 87

    Read more

  • Deadly avalanche strikes Everest in worst-ever disaster

    Read more

  • With a strong French presence, veterans and fresh faces, Cannes aims to please

    Read more

  • Low turnout reported in Algeria as Bouteflika seeks fourth term

    Read more

  • Russia and West agree on steps to ease Ukraine crisis

    Read more

  • Mob launches deadly attack on UN shelter for S. Sudan civilians

    Read more

  • Eurostar train mishap causes 'severe' delays

    Read more

  • Chelsea Clinton announces she's pregnant

    Read more

  • French troops free five aid workers kidnapped in Mali by Islamists

    Read more

  • In pictures: Iranian woman pardons son’s killer at the gallows

    Read more

  • After cup defeat, Spanish pundits read last rites for Barcelona

    Read more

  • India heads to polls in single largest day of voting

    Read more

  • Ukraine talks open in Geneva as Putin talks tough on TV

    Read more

  • Pro-Russian separatists killed in attack on Black Sea base

    Read more

  • Man executed in Texas for 2002 triple murder

    Read more

  • Scandal-hit French doctor Jacques Servier dies at 92

    Read more

  • Belgian head of wildlife reserve shot in DR Congo

    Read more

Middle east

UK, Ireland seek answers from Israel over Hamas killing

©

Video by Carla WESTERHEIDE

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2010-02-18

The Israeli ambassadors to Britain and Ireland will hold talks Thursday over the misuse of passports, allegedly in connection with the murder of a Hamas leader in Dubai. One French and one German passport are also suspected of being used in the plot.

Pressure was mounting on Israel following the killing of a Hamas military commander in a Dubai hotel room last month, with the British and Irish governments summoning the Israeli ambassadors to their respective countries on Thursday for talks over the misuse of British and Irish passports by the alleged killers.

Israel’s ambassador to the UK, Ron Prosor, met with Peter Ricketts, the head of Britain’s diplomatic service, in London on Thursday. In Dublin, Irish Foreign Minister Michael Martin said his country had also summoned its Israeli envoy, Zion Evrony, for talks.
 
"We will have a frank discussion with the ambassador," Martin told reporters ahead of the meeting. "We are putting pretty direct questions and seeking assistance and clarification.”
 
The French foreign ministry said on Thursday that it was also seeking answers from its Israeli embassy, adding that it was in contact with the Dubai authorities regarding the progress of the investigation.
 
Diplomatic tensions have been on the rise following the killing of Hamas leader Mahmud al-Mabhuh, who was found dead in a Dubai hotel room on January 20. The passport affair came to light after Dubai’s police chief, Dahi Khalfan Tamim, released the names and photos of 11 European passport holders – six from Britain, three from Ireland, one from Germany and one from France – who he alleged were members of a hit squad targeting the senior Hamas militant. Dubai prosecutors issued an international arrest warrant for the 11 on Tuesday.
 
On Wednesday, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s pledged to launch a "full investigation" into the passports affair. Shortly after the Thursday meeting between Prosor and Ricketts, British Foreign Secretary David Miliband said Britain expected Israel to cooperate fully with an investigation.
 
International hit squad
 
All of the nations involved in the passport affair, except Germany, reacted to the news by saying the travel documents were fake. The six Britons whose passports were used had immigrated to Israel and have denied ever having been to the United Arab Emirates.
 
But on Wednesday, Martin said that new information from the United Arab Emirates reveals that the passports used may have been authentic. "The new information ... indicates that genuine Irish passport numbers were used," he said.
 
In an interview with the Al Bayan newspaper on Thursday, Tamim insisted that the passports used by the suspects were not fakes and that Dubai immigration officers were "trained" by European security experts to spot forgeries.
 
Tamim also said he was “99 percent sure” that the Israeli secret service, Mossad, was behind the murder. In an interview with The National newspaper, Tamim said investigations into the killing revealed that Mossad is involved in the murder of Mabhuh. “It is 99 percent, if not 100 percent, that Mossad is standing behind the murder," the Abu Dhabi-based English-language daily quoted the police chief as saying.
 
Mossad suspected
 
While no government has directly accused Israel, the modus operandi of al-Mabhuh’s murder has led to speculation that Mossad may have been behind the killing as Mossad has used passports from other Western nations in the past. Canada vehemently protested after Canadian passports were used in the organisation’s botched 1997 attempt to kill Hamas political leader Khaled Meshal in Amman, Jordan.
 
But Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said on Wednesday that there was no evidence pointing to Israel’s involvement. "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 told Israel’s Army Radio.
 
Lieberman said Israel has a “policy of ambiguity” on intelligence issues. Israel usually neither confirms nor denies speculation about Mossad activities.
 
Hamas has claimed that al-Mabhuh was behind the 1989 kidnapping and killing of two Israeli soldiers. Israel also suspects him of smuggling Iranian arms into Gaza. 

 

Date created : 2010-02-18

  • ISRAEL

    Israel says 'no reason' to suspect Mossad in Dubai killing

    Read more

  • MIDEAST CONFLICT

    British passports of Hamas hit team are fake, Britain and Ireland say

    Read more

  • DUBAI

    Two Palestinians interrogated over Hamas militant murder

    Read more

Comments

COMMENT(S)