Robert Fisk on the murder of a Palestinian by an Israeli death squad in Dubai. ‘Collusion’, he notes, ”The United Arab Emirates suspect – only suspect, mark you – that Europe’s “security collaboration” with Israel has crossed a line into illegality’. He quotes his UAE source saying: ‘the British passports are real. They are hologram pictures with the biometric stamp. They are not forged or fake. The names were really there. If you can fake a hologram or biometric stamp, what does this mean?’. Fisk adds: ‘He said that EU countries were cooperating with the UAE, including the UK. But “not one of the countries we have been speaking to has notified Interpol of the passports used in their name. Why not?”‘
While most of the named suspects are claiming that their identities were stolen, the mother of at least one murderer is less certain. She admitted to the Daily Telegraph that the photo of the suspect was ‘similar to her son’. This will not be the first time that agents of the notoriously incompetent Mossad have carried out murder using their own identities. They did so too when they killed the Moroccan waiter Ahmad Bouchiki in Lillehammer in front of his pregnant wife following the Munich incident believing him to be Ali Hassan Salameh. Six members of the team were arrested by the Norwegian police in Oslo, and one, Dan Aerbel, turned out to be claustrophobic who immediately started screaming and confessed not just to the murder but also to recent smuggling of nuclear material from Norway. In addition, Andrew and Leslie Cockburn reported, ‘they helpfully supplied safe-house addresses. Another just happened to have the key to a Paris apartment, where French authorities gathered up other keys to other apartments, unravelling the whole operation’.
However, if the identities were indeed stolen, then that raises more interesting questions. So this means Israel rewards the Zionist zealots who immigrate there to squat on land stolen from the Palestinians by stealing their identities in turn and turning them into murder suspects? But what have the states whose flags/passports were abused in this trans-national crime got to say about this? Adam Shatz writes:
The Mossad has a history of ‘borrowing’ the identities of foreign-born Israelis – sometimes without their consent, or even their knowledge. Two of the assailants in the bungled attempt on the life of the Hamas leader Khalid Mishal in Amman in 1997 (ordered by Binyamin Netanyahu and carried out in another friendly Arab country) hadpassports belonging to Canadians living in Israel; the Canadian government retaliated by recalling its ambassador in Tel Aviv – for all of a week. Of the 11 suspects identified by the police in Dubai, six hold British passports, all of them – according to the Foreign Office – forged.
The question is what Britain intends to do if – as seems likely – the Mossad’s responsibility is established. David Miliband, denouncing the passport forgery as an ‘outrage’, has vowed that the British government is not merely ‘going through the motions’ in demanding Israel’s full co-operation with the investigation in Dubai. And there has been much fanfare about the diplomacy in London: the Foreign Office called in the Israeli Ambassador, Ron Prosor, for a 20-minute chat today, and has arranged a meeting in Brussels next week between Miliband and Lieberman. Not much is likely to come of these public reproaches, since going through the motions is precisely what they seem to be about.
This isn’t the first time Israel has forged British passports: in 1987, it admitted that Mossad assassins in Germany had passed themselves off as Englishmen. The Israeli authorities apologised to the British government, promising they would never do it again – unless, it now seems, they needed to.
Far from showing contrition, as the Guardian notes, the Israelis are giving Europe the finger:
Amid the mounting diplomatic row over Mossad’s alleged assassination of a Hamas commander in Dubai, the Israeli embassy has turned to Twitter to comment.
A tweet issued by the embassy today read: “@israeluk You heard it here first: Israeli tennis player carries out hit on #Dubai target http://ow.ly/18A79”. It links to a story about the Israeli tennis player Shahar Peer, who beat the top-ranked Caroline Wozniacki yesterday to reach the quarter-finals of the Dubai Championship.
But the tweet is open to interpretation. The Mossad hit squad accused of assassinating Mahmoud al-Mabhouh, a senior figure from the militant group Hamas, at the Al-Bustan Rotana hotel in Dubai were disguised as tennis players.
CCTV footage released by Dubai police shows the assassins dressed as tennis players following Mabhouh into the hotel lift as a member of staff showed him to his room.
Police said this was an attempt to note down his room number.