(JTA) — The new head of Israel’s Mossad is set to apologize for using forged British passports during an assassination operation in Dubai, a British newspaper is reporting.
The Daily Telegraph reported over the weekend that Tamir Pardo, director of Israel’s secret service for the last month, will apologize for using the fake passports during the assassination operation against Hamas leader Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in a Dubai hotel room in January. He will also promise never to allow Israeli agents to use false British documents again, the newspaper reported.
Some 33 people are accused by Dubai police of being part of the assassination of al-Mabhouh. The Israeli Mossad intelligence agency has been blamed for the slaying, in which Mabhouh apparently was suffocated after being drugged. Israel has neither confirmed nor denied its involvement in Mabhouh’s assassination.
In March, an investigation by Britain’s Serious and Organized Crime Squad found that the Mossad provided members of an assassination team with 12 forged British passports.
The assassins used forged passports from Britain, Ireland, Australia, France and Germany to enter and leave Dubai.
A source told the newspaper that Pardo, 57, deputy director of the Mossad for the past three years, was involved in planning the operation and that he had argued against using British, Irish and Australian passports for the team.
Relations between the Mossad and British security agencies have deteriorated significantly since the incident, according to the newspaper.
Pardo is scheduled to visit London in early January. His apology would be the first official acknowledgement by Israel that it was behind the assassination.