Australian police and passport officials are being dispatched to Israel to meet with three dual Australian—Israeli nationals whose passports were used in the slaying of a top Hamas operative in Dubai, a spokeswoman for Australia’s department of foreign affairs said on Tuesday.
The spokeswoman, speaking from the Australian capital, Canberra, had no details on when the team would arrive in Israel. She spoke on customary condition of anonymity.
Israel’s Mossad spy agency is widely suspected of carrying out the January 19 slaying of Mahmoud al—Mabhouh in a luxury Dubai hotel, but Israel has neither confirmed nor denied involvement. Israel claims al—Mabhouh was a major player in smuggling weapons to Hamas militants who control the Gaza Strip and attacked Israel with bombs, rockets and mortars for years.
Dubai police say 26 suspects used fake British, Irish, French and Australian passports of real people in the assassination. At least 15 of the suspects share names with Israeli citizens, who say they were victims of identity theft and deny having been in Dubai.
Britain has already sent a special police investigator to Israel to meet with eight dual nationals whose passports were used in the killing.
Dubai police say they are convinced that Israel assassinated al—Mabhouh, who was also wanted in the 1989 killing of two Israeli soldiers. They contend al—Mahbouh’s assassins used a powerful muscle relaxant to incapacitate him before suffocating him with a pillow in his hotel room.
On Monday, Dubai police announced that dual—national Israelis arriving on foreign passports would be barred from entering. Voice and face profiling will be used to detect Israeli citizens.