Ireland to expel Israel diplomat over Hamas murder

Ireland's government said it was calling on Israel to withdraw a designated member of staff at its Dublin embassy over the use of fake passports in the assassination of a top Hamas member in Dubai.

Ireland to expel Israel diplomat over Hamas murder

Ireland's government said on Tuesday it was calling on Israel to withdraw a designated member of staff at its Dublin embassy over the use of fake passports in the assassination of a top Hamas member in Dubai in January.

Foreign Minister Micheal Martin said an investigation had showed that the eight Irish passports used by suspects in the assassination of Mahmoud al-Mabhouh were forgeries.

"The misuse of Irish passports by a state with which Ireland enjoys friendly, if sometimes frank, bilateral relations is clearly unacceptable and requires a firm response," he said in a statement.

Martin said he would not reveal the name or function of the official concerned, in accordance with diplomatic practice.

"The fact that the forged Irish passports were used by members of the same group who carried the forged British and Australian passports, leads us to the inescapable conclusion that an Israeli government agency was responsible for the misuse and, most likely, the manufacture of the forged Irish passports associated with the murder of Mr. Mabhouh," he said.

Australia and Britain have both ordered the expulsion of some Israeli diplomats over the use of fake passports in the assassination.

Dubai has accused Israel of being behind the killing of the Hamas commander and has provided the Israeli names of over two dozen alleged members of a team it says tracked and killed the Palestinian, using fraudulent British, Irish, French, German and Australian passports.

Over the years, a number of Hamas leaders have killed in what Israel calls "targeted killings."

In 2004, wheelchair-bound Hamas founder Sheikh Ahmed Yassin was killed in an Israeli helicopter gunship attack in Gaza. One month later, another Hamas leader in the enclave, Abdel Aziz al-Rantissi, was killed when two missiles hit his car.

In 1997, Israeli agents tried to poison Hamas's exiled political supremo Khaled Meshaal in Amman, while in 1995.



Agencies

Last Mod: 15 Haziran 2010, 14:50
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