JERUSALEM (JTA) – The European Union condemned the use of forged passports from EU countries in the killing of a Hamas official.
The statement, released Monday during an EU foreign ministers meeting in Brussels, did not directly accuse Israel of the assassination of Hamas commander Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in a hotel in Dubai last month, but it was meant to increase pressure on Israel, Reuters reported.
"The EU strongly condemns the fact that those involved in this action used fraudulent EU member states’ passports and credit cards acquired through the theft of EU citizens’ identities," the statement said. "The EU welcomes the investigation by the Dubai authorities and calls on all countries to cooperate with it."
Israel has neither confirmed nor denied that it or its Mossad agents were involved in the killing.
Hamas and Dubai have accused Israel of the assassination, in which at least 11 assassins used forged passports from Britain, Ireland, Germany and France, all EU countries.
Israel’s Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman met with several of his counterparts and was scheduled to meet with others on the sidelines of the EU meeting in Brussels.
"Many false accusations are made against Israel on numerous issues, and there is a general Arab tendency to blame Israel for everything," Lieberman told Irish Foreign Minister Micheal Martin in a meeting shortly after the EU statement was released.
"If evidence to the contrary would have been presented, other than in media reports, we would comment," he said. "Since such evidence doesn’t exist, there is no need to comment."
Lieberman also met with Spanish Foreign Minister Miguel Moratinos to discuss the upgrading of relations between Israel and the European Union, according to the Foreign Ministry. Lieberman said the upgrade should not be linked to negotiations with the Palestinians.