International

Britain Expels Israeli Over Passport Fraud Tied To Dubai Killing

Britain has expelled an Israeli diplomat in response to the use of British passports by suspected Israeli agents thought to be behind the January killing of senior Hamas official Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in a Dubai hotel. The British government's move was expected.

British foreign minister David Miliband announced the expulsion of an Israeli diplomat in response t

British Foreign Secretary David Miliband. Dan Kitwood/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

A snippet from a BBC.com report:

Foreign Secretary David Miliband told the Commons there were "compelling reasons" to believe Israel was responsible for the passport "misuse".

He said: "The government takes this matter extremely seriously. Such misuse of British passports is intolerable."

Israel's ambassador to London, Ron Prosor, said he was "disappointed"...

... Israel has said there is no proof it was behind the killing at a Dubai hotel, and an official confirmed there would be no tit-for-tat diplomatic expulsion.

But Mr Miliband said it was "highly likely" the Israeli secret service Mossad was involved and the fact that Israel was a close ally added "insult to injury".

He said he had evidence that genuine passports belonging to UK citizens had been copied after being handed over for inspection to "individuals linked to Israel".

"Given that this was a very sophisticated operation, in which high-quality forgeries were made, the government judges it is highly likely that the forgeries were made by a state intelligence service," he said.

"We have concluded that there are compelling reasons to believe Israel was responsible for the misuse of the British passports."

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