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Dubai murder: The British-Israelis who had their identities stolen

Men unconnected to Hamas assassination tell media about their shock over the use of their stolen identities

The seven Israelis with dual foreign ­citizenship caught up in a major international investigation into the assassination of a Hamas commander do not appear ­connected: they live in different parts of Israel and none appears to have visited Dubai.

None have had their passports ­stolen, but all have had their identities stolen. Since discovering their names on a most-wanted list they have spoken out about their anger, frustration and fear.

Stephen Hodes, a British-Israeli ­living in Ramat Beit Shemesh, said he was deeply concerned. "I'm shocked. I don't know how they got to me," he told Israel Radio. Like the others, he said the photograph beside his name in the suspect's forged passport was not him. "Those aren't my photographs, of course. I don't know how they got to my details, who took them … I'm simply afraid. These are powerful forces." He had not left Israel for two years, he said, and had never visited Dubai.

Another British-Israeli, Paul Keeley, 43, who lives on Kibbutz Nahsholim, in ­northern Israel, said he too was scared. "I'm in absolute and total shock," he told the Ma'ariv newspaper. "The whole world is asking whether that's me, what I am, who I am. I'm a home renovator who earns his living in and around Nahsholim. What do they want from me?"

His passport had not been stolen and he had not left the country, he said. "It wasn't lost. It's in my hand. I'm holding it. They simply stole my identity … I don't even know from whom I'm supposed to get answers and if anyone will bother at all to give me an official explanation of what happened.

"One thing is clear to me: I never left the country," he said. "From the moment I heard about it I was very worried. I'm worried for my family."

Michael Barney, another British-Israeli whose identity was stolen, lives in a ­kibbutz in the western Galilee. He too said his passport had not been taken, but described the incident as "very grave". "I'm angry and very surprised," he was quoted as saying. "This is a mistake or a case of identity theft."

In Beit Shemesh, west of Jerusalem, another British-Israeli, Melvyn Mildiner, 31, said he was "angry, upset and scared" at the apparent theft of his ID. "That's ­horrid," he said, adding: "I have never been to Dubai. I don't know how this happened or who chose my name or why, but hopefully we'll find out soon." Mildiner revealed that although the name and number of the travel papers matched his own, the date of birth was off by a few days.

Two other men named as identity theft victims in the case were James Clark, a British-Israeli living in a kibbutz in ­central Israel, and Michael Boden­heimer, who studies at a religious school in Bnei Barak and who moved to Israel more than 20 years ago from the US. His name appeared in a forged German passport used by one of the suspects.


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