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Last update - 11:06 17/02/2010
Israel has nothing to worry about over Dubai killing
By Yossi Melman
Tags: Dubai assassination, Mossad 

It seems suspicions are narrowing in on Israel. Israeli citizens with dual citizenship, who emigrated from Britain a long time ago and whose names and identities were used for an operation that led to the assassination of a senior Hamas figure in Dubai, are justifiably feeling they were pawns in a much larger game.

From now on, they'll have to explain to the British consulate in Tel Aviv and the British Home Office that they were not in Dubai, had not participated in the assassination and had not misplaced their passports.

However, a deeper look into the matter suggests this will not be too difficult for them to prove. The governments of both Ireland and the United Kingdom already announced yesterday that the passports used by the suspects in the killing of Mahmoud al-Mabhouh were forged.
The Mossad has used forged passports on a number of occasions in the past, or used the names of real people on fake passports with photographs of its agents.

Agent Sylvia Rafael, from South Africa, was arrested in an assassination attempt in Norway that ended in tragedy, as a result of the mistaken identity of a Moroccan waiter in July 1973. She was traveling with the forged identity of a Canadian photographer by the name of Patricia Roxburgh.

Her colleagues on that mission were arrested with the forged or borrowed identities of British and French citizens. In 1979, according to the Times of London, an Israel Military Industries' courier left British passports in a public telephone booth in Bonn, meant for agents on a secret negotiation for the supply of arms to China prior to the existence of diplomatic ties between Israel and Beijing. The Mossad had provided the documents.

In 1997, Mossad agents were arrested in Jordan following the failed attempt on the life of Hamas politburo leader Khaled Meshal. They were carrying Canadian passports. Following that incident, Ottawa demanded clarifications from Israel and received promises that Canadian passports would not be used in future operations.

It turned out that at least one of the passports belonged to a Jewish Canadian who had arrived in Israel to study and said that certain people contacted him and asked to make use of his passport for a short period of time in the service of the State of Israel. He later denied this version of events, claiming the passport had been taken without his consent.

Several years later, two Mossad agents were arrested in New Zealand attempting to acquire real passports using the name of a local quadriplegic youth, who was highly unlikely to apply for a passport to leave the country. In this case, too, Israel was forced to apologize and promised not to violate the sovereignty of New Zealand in the future.

As such, we can point to a modus operandi in which Israel was forced to use foreign passports for operations involving assassinations of enemy targets.

In the New Zealand operation, a great deal of effort was put into acquiring one or possibly more passports - suggesting that the Mossad is in need of genuine passports. Indeed, intelligence agencies always prefer to use original documentation and only when they have no choice do they forge passports or borrow other peoples' identities.

The future will be even more difficult thanks to biometric measures that will be included in travel documents - with Israel being one of the countries leading this effort. Forged passports will be impossible to use, as it is impossible to forge fingerprints or irises.

Still, many of the countries whose passports were allegedly used do not like Hamas; and the government of Dubai, despite its impressive investigation, does not really want to get to the bottom of this. Dubai would like to continue giving off the impression that it is a safe country, all of whose visitors are there for only business or tourism.

There are other Arab countries who do not consider Hamas a friend and who are in a secret war - no less bitter than Israel's - against the Islamist organization. Jordan is one of them, as is Egypt.

As part of the investigation two Palestinians were arrested in Dubai, suspected of aiding the assassination team, and it is not impossible that the whole story is another example of the sort of psychological warfare against Hamas that would have the organization become even more suspicious of flawed security within its ranks.

Looking at the incident in perspective, a senior Hamas figure responsible for the deaths of two Israel Defense Forces soldiers and a key contact in the group's arms smuggling is dead.

Both Hamas and the authorities in Dubai took 10 days to realize that the death was not of natural causes. All the operatives managed to escape unscathed. This is not a modus operandi only of Israel's intelligence services, but of any professional organization.

As such, unless dramatic evidence is found to definitively prove an Israeli connection, it is likely that the State of Israel will emerge from this affair unblemished and the Mossad will continue enjoying a reputation of fearless determination and nearly unstoppable capabilities.

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  1.   `Israel has nothing to worry about` 03:03  |  Colin Wright 17/02/10
  2.   Idiot 03:24  |  Colin Wright 17/02/10
  3.   told you so. 03:30  |  Helen 17/02/10
  4.   A Valentine`s Day note to Israel`s cold-blooded killers 03:54  |  peacelover 17/02/10
  5.   Has Yossi Melman thought this through? 03:59  |  Meir 17/02/10
  6.   And the cycle of Israeli-incited violence continues... 04:36  |  Episcopalian 17/02/10
  7.   The names are too obviously linked to Israel 04:38  |  Peter Williams 17/02/10
  8.   Yossi Melman _ Good Analysis. Doubtful That Mossad Would Have 04:43  |  Eli 17/02/10
  9.   "FEARLESS DETREMINATION... 04:44  |  EL 17/02/10
  10.   This time its different 05:14  |  John 17/02/10
  11.   Newsflash for Yossi Melman - dramatic evidence was found! 05:15  |  Danny 17/02/10
  12.   Yossi, what are you suggesting? 05:17  |  Jal 17/02/10
  13.   All the hallmarks of Mossad 05:19  |  Natallie Durson 17/02/10
  14.   Unblemished from a legal point of view, Yossi; but not morally... 07:35  |  Damian Lataan 17/02/10
  15.   The "tragedy" in Norway you talk of... 08:26  |  Apa 17/02/10
  16.   This is dangerous 08:44  |  Susan 17/02/10
  17.   Except for 11 mossad agents with warrants ... 09:04  |  mario 17/02/10
  18.   I Want To Say Something Intelligent... 09:19  |  Yosemite 17/02/10
  19.   They just blew their cover and revealed their mission, not good 09:36  |  Dan 17/02/10
  20.   Was Rehavam Ze`evi`s assasination any different to al-Mabhouh? 09:44  |  Hero 17/02/10
  21.   To #1, Episcopalian 09:48  |  Steven 17/02/10
  22.   why British Israelis? 10:05  |  veronica 17/02/10
  23.   Arab Murderer 10:05  |  Bobby G 17/02/10
  24.   Melman Clarifies; thank you 10:19  |  EZ 17/02/10
  25.   "EPISCOPALIAN" Arabs butchering Arabs is ongoing for millenia 10:22  |  PETER SM 17/02/10
  26.   MARIO they were Mossad agents were they?? Because 10:29  |  PETER SM 17/02/10
  27.   Would the Mossad endanger the lives of fellow Jews..... 10:57  |  Swiss (Dino) 17/02/10
  28.   To Hero 11:01  |  Sam Soul 17/02/10
  29.   British media are reporting it as a Mossad Operation 11:06  |  Chris Linthwaite 17/02/10
  30.   #2 Colin Wright 11:10  |  Chris Linthwaite 17/02/10
  31.   The little gunslinger is in town 11:26  |  r cummings 17/02/10
  32.   Hey Damian 11:28  |  utagawa 17/02/10
  33.   To Colin wright. This tactic does not help israel 11:41  |  gus 17/02/10
  34.   this is the chris crocker of espionage 11:45  |  son of youtube 17/02/10
  35.   r cummings and goings: "Mossad is nothing special" LOL 11:49  |  Nemesis 17/02/10
  36.   The Israel haters` seething on talkback is a hoot! 11:51  |  Nemesis 17/02/10
  37.   Chris L. relax 11:51  |  Daniel 17/02/10
  38.   No, Mr Melman, suspicion will hang over Israel once again 11:52  |  sh 17/02/10
  39.   What planet does author live on? 12:45  |  David 17/02/10
  40.   Chrs Linthwaite 12:49  |  Steve 17/02/10
  41.   #34 Nemesis 12:55  |  Chris Linthwaite 17/02/10
  42.   LINTHWAITE even if their photos do not match? 13:35  |  PETER SM 17/02/10
  43.   Does it really matter who did it? 13:44  |  Justin Cohen 17/02/10
  44.   2nd try to point this out..... 13:44  |  Johnboy 17/02/10
  45.   LINTHWAITE Time stop being an apologist & stop suicide bombers 13:44  |  PETER SM 17/02/10
  46.   Going to be an interesting litmus test.... 13:57  |  Johnboy 17/02/10
  47.   #30 Chris Linthwaite second try 14:00  |  H 17/02/10
  48.   The ideologues guide to assassination response 14:03  |  Mark Lincoln 17/02/10
  49.   all the hallmarks of natalie duson 14:14  |  larry of delaware 17/02/10
  50.   Does it really matter who did it? 14:23  |  Mark Lincoln 17/02/10
  51.   make no mistake - IF it was mossad... 14:32  |  eporue 17/02/10
  52.   Meir this is very easy 14:33  |  Aby 17/02/10
  53.   Dubai Assassination 14:41  |  Giles K 17/02/10
  54.   BBC NEWS front page 14:44  |  H 17/02/10
  55.   Chris when will be ? what is your time table 14:48  |  Aby 17/02/10
  56.   Thank you 54 14:57  |  Noam 17/02/10
  57.   candidates ? 14:57  |  eporue 17/02/10
  58.   What if Hamas retaliates against people whose identity was stolen 15:00  |  Ari 17/02/10
  59.   Entrapment 15:10  |  Sam 17/02/10
  60.   Motives in perspective 15:24  |  Michael N 17/02/10
  61.   #47 H---reading comprehension problems 15:24  |  Labhras 17/02/10
  62.   #60 Labhras. You wouldn`t pass your GCSE English 15:48  |  H 17/02/10
  63.   #45 Peter SM 15:56  |  Chris Linthwaite 17/02/10
  64.   #47 H Your right 15:58  |  Chris Linthwaite 17/02/10
  65.   #55 Aby of Tel Aviv 16:04  |  Chris Linthwaite 17/02/10
  66.   The ignorance of Colin and Chris 16:09  |  George 17/02/10
  67.   Chris 29 16:14  |  George 17/02/10
  68.   How to get names? 16:31  |  Mark Lincoln 17/02/10
  69.   Difficult for whom Aby? 16:47  |  Mark Lincoln 17/02/10
  70.   #64 Chris Linthwaite "They should get a fair trial 16:55  |  H 17/02/10
  71.   What if Hamas retaliates against people whose identity was stolen 17:00  |  Mark Lincoln 17/02/10
  72.   Many of the alleged hijackers in 9/11 had the same compliants 17:09  |  Dutch 17/02/10
  73.   Oops, 40 reasons to doubt the official 9/11 story also... 17:27  |  Dutch 17/02/10
  74.   #21, Steven and Christan interference. 00:52  |  Lucy 18/02/10
  75.   Correct, and the earth is flat,.. 01:04  |  Erik 22/02/10
  76.   Response to Bobby G @23 16:23  |  Thabit 23/02/10
  77.   A 100 % prove is not necessary to be convinced 18:07  |  FT 23/02/10
  78.   Justin Cohen you`re right 16:19  |  Petra 25/02/10
  79.   BEST WHODUNIT IN HISTORY. 16:22  |  Petra 25/02/10
  80.   Naw....Israeli`s too smart for this caper 04:21  |  Paula Ann 28/02/10
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