Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

FASHION

Fashion, what's happened in 2014

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

France: 2014 in review

Read more

#THE 51%

South Africa: Taking a stand against child marriage

Read more

DEBATE

The Future of the Book

Read more

DEBATE

The Future of the Book (part 2)

Read more

REPORTERS

France 24’s best documentaries of 2014

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

'We have to build a new Tunisia', says the president of the Tunisian Parliament

Read more

FACE-OFF

France on alert after attacks: a case of collective hysteria?

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

'Beijing needs to revaluate its policy in the Tibetan areas', says FM of the Tibetan government-in-exile

Read more

Middle east

Israel dismisses calls for arrest of top spy over Hamas killing

Video by Nicholas RUSHWORTH

Latest update : 2010-02-19

Israel has shrugged off a request by Dubai's police chief for the head of Mossad to be arrested if the Israeli spy agency is found to be involved in the assassination of a top Hamas official in the Gulf emirate on January 20.

AFP - Israel on Friday shrugged off calls for its top spy to be be arrested in the killing of a Hamas commander, as pressure mounted after Interpol issued arrest warrants for 11 suspects in the Dubai hit.

"The Dubai police have provided no incriminating proof," a senior official told AFP, asking not to be identified.

The Dubai police chief said on Thursday he wanted Mossad chief Meir Dagan to be arrested if the agency is behind last month's killing of Mahmud al-Mabhuh, a top commander of the Islamist Hamas movement that rules Gaza.

"The threats against Meir Dagan are absurd," the Israeli official said. "The accusations are baseless. Police have not explained the circumstances of his death, or even any proof that he's been assassinated," he said.

Mahmud al-Mabhuh, one of the founders of Hamas's military wing, was found dead in his Dubai hotel room on January 20.

Police said Mabhuh, who was reportedly on a trip to buy arms for Hamas, was transiting on his way to China, then Sudan.

No government has directly accused Israel, although Dubai police chief Lieutenant General Dahi Khalfan Tamim said he was near certain the hit was carried out by the Mossad, Israel's fabled foreign espionage agency which has used fake passports in similar operations in the past.

Interpol on Thursday issued arrest notices for 11 suspects -- six listed with British passports, three Irish, one French and one German -- wanted by Dubai for the killing.

The killers' use of allegedly fake passports prompted Britain, Ireland, France and Germany on Thursday to call in Israeli envoys for talks at their foreign ministries.

The Israeli official played down the issue. "Israel was only asked to help investigate the use of the fake passports."

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown on Thursday stressed the need for a "full investigation," while Irish Foreign Minister Micheal Martin announced "frank" talks with Israel's envoy -- usually diplomatic code for angry exchanges.

Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman will face tough questioning on Monday when he meets European counterparts in Brussels, in a trip that was planned before the Dubai murder.

While some Israeli media have expressed concern the hit placed Israel in the eye of a diplomatic storm, the Haaretz newspaper quoted an official as predicting "the affair will quickly subside."

And, Israeli media also point out that despite the controversy over the hit, Western governments are not mourning Mabhuh.

"Whichever agency carried out the hit, with whatever cooperation from elsewhere, it achieved its critical goals -- the target was eliminated and the squad made its escape," the English-language Jerusalem Post said in an editorial.

The newspaper took aim at the "kerfuffle" in the British media over the affair, saying "this pigheaded refusal to acknowledge that sometimes the needs do justify the means reflect a moral impoverishment that's not limited to Britain."

Date created : 2010-02-19

  • UAE

    France joins calls for explanation from Israel over Hamas murder

    Read more

  • DUBAI

    Dubai wants Mossad chief arrested if behind Hamas murder plot

    Read more

COMMENT(S)