Hamas has welcomed Britain’s decision to expel an Israeli diplomat over 12 forged UK passports used in the killing of Hamas leader Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in Dubai last January.
Hamas leader Salah Bardawil on Tuesday described the move as a significant development in Britain’s stance. "We hope that this level of development will continue, particularly in bringing Israeli leaders who committed crimes against the Palestinian people to court," he stated.
David Miliband, the British Foreign Secretary, said in remarks to the House of Commons on Tuesday that there were "compelling reasons" suggesting that Israel was behind the misuse of the British passports and called Israel’s actions "intolerable".
"Such misuse of British passports is intolerable … It also represents a profound disregard for the sovereignty of the United Kingdom," he said. Miliband did not accuse Israel of being responsible for the killing.
"I’ve asked that a member of the Embassy of Israel be withdrawn from the UK as a result of this affair and this is taking place," the British foreign secretary pointed out.
According to Dubai Police Chief Dahi Khalfan Tamim, investigations reveal that Israel’s intelligence agency, Mossad, is behind the assasination of Mahmoud al-Mabhouh.
The top Hamas official was killed in his hotel room on January 19, hours after he arrived in Dubai from Syria.
Dubai authorities have given the names of 27 alleged members of the team that tracked and killed the Palestinian, and said they used fraudulent British, Irish, French, German and Australian passports to enter and leave Dubai.
The suspects are alleged to have had contact with the assassination squad during their 19-hour stay in Dubai.