Britain expels Israeli diplomat over ’intolerable’ actions of Mossad

Britain expels Israeli diplomat over ’intolerable’ actions of Mossad
# 23 March 2010 19:18 (UTC +04:00)
Baku – APA. Britain has ordered the expulsion of an Israeli diplomat in protest at the cloning by Israeli officials of 12 UK passports in the assassination of a Hamas militant, the Foreign Secretary said today, APA reports quoting timesonline.co.uk web-page.
David Miliband announced the move in a statement to Parliament in which he summarised the findings of a report from the Serious Organised Crime Agency into the murder of Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in Dubai on January 19.
Dubai police have named 27 suspects, all of whom travelled on forged European and Australian travel documents, and say that they were members of a Mossad hit squad.
Twelve of them were using cloned British passports and Mr Miliband said it was "highly likely that the forgeries were made by a state intelligence service"
"We have conceded that there are compelling reasons to believe that Israel was responsible for the misuse of the British passports," the Foreign Secretary added.
He said that a misuse was "intolerable" and showed "profound disregard for the sovereignty of the United Kingdom". The fact that it was done by a country which is a friend "only adds insult to injury".
Mr Miliband said that he had demanded, and received, an assurance from Avigdor Lieberman, the Israeli Foreign Minister, that Israel would never again be party to a similar abuse. But even though close diplomatic ties remained vitally important, he had no choice but to take diplomatic action.
"I have asked that a member of the Embassy of Israel be withdrawn from the UK as a result of this affair and this is taking place."
Mr Al-Mabhouh, a founding member of the militant group, was murdered in a Dubai hotel room on January 19. Results of a toxicology report show that he was injected with a fast-acting sedative before being suffocated.
His killers fled the country within hours, some flying to Hong Kong, South Africa and the United States. They are all now believed to be back in Israel.
The Mossad hit squad also used forged German, French and Australian passports, prompting a major diplomatic row with the European Union. Mr Miliband said that he had spoken in the past 24 hours with the foreign ministers of those other countries.
Today’s expulsion comes as Israel tries to control a slump in relations with the United States prompted by Israel’s decision to announce the construction of 1,600 new homes in Arab east Jerusalem during a visit earlier this month by Joe Biden, the US Vice-President.
Binyamin Netanyahu, the Israeli Prime Minister, is to meet President Obama in the White House today, but has already made clear that the settlements would go ahead.
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