JERUSALEM - 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. To read full Haaretz story — Go Here Now.
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