British police in Israel to probe assassination


JERUSALEM (JTA) — British police are in Israel investigating the use of false passports in the assassination of a top Hamas official.

Two officers were set to meet with the six dual British-Israeli citizens whose identities were used on fake passports used in the killing last month of top Hamas commander Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in a hotel room in Dubai,  the French news agency AFP reported. As many as 26 alleged assassins used fake passports.

Dubai police announced over the weekend that they have DNA evidence of one of the alleged assassins.  

Seventeen of the alleged assassins have the same name as dual Israeli citizens from Britain, France, Australia, Ireland and Germany.

Israel’s Mossad has come under international suspicion in the killing, as Al-Mabhouh was the official responsible for arranging arms supplies from Iran to Gaza, and was a founder of the Hamas military wing, Izzadin Kassam. He also was involved in the 1989 kidnappings and murders of two Israeli soldiers, Avi Sasportas and Ilan Sa’adon.

The European Union has condemned the fraudulent use of the passports. Several EU countries have called in their ambassadors to Israel looking for explanations. Israel has neither confirmed nor denied its involvement.

Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd said he is "not satisfied with [the] explanation" given by Israel’s ambassador regarding the use of falsified passports in the assassination.

Meanwhile, Australia’s security agency has been investigating for the last six months the suspicion that three Australians holding dual Israeli citizenship spied for Israel in the past few years using their Australian passports, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.

The three men under investigation immigrated to Israel within the past 10 years and then visited Australia to change their names to something that sounded less Eastern European and more Anglo, the newspaper reported.

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