National Infrastructures Minister Uzi Landau on Sunday dismissed allegations that a member of his delegation to the United Arab Emirates in late January assassinated a Hamas military commander in Dubai as “wild.”
Landau led a delegation to Abu Dhabi to attend an International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) conference.
He vehemently denied the Hamas allegations that members of his entourage were responsible for the assassination of top operative Mahmoud Mabhouh.
“My entourage went to an international conference. What we are witnessing is the wild eastern imagination going hand-in-hand with Palestinian anger over an Israeli flag flying over Abu Dhabi,” he told The Jerusalem Post
, at a press conference on renewable energy at the ministry on Sunday.
At the opening of the weekly cabinet meeting, other ministers refused to comment on the incident in Dubai, but in response to questions, they did compliment Mossad chief Meir Dagan and expressed appreciation for the work of the organization.
Landau’s delegation, which consisted of fewer than 10 people, was guarded by an eight-man UAE security team from the time it landed on a Friday morning in Abu Dhabi – some 120 km. away from Dubai – until it flew out of the UAE.
The Landau delegation hardly left the hotel, taking only one brief site-seeing excursion, and was accompanied throughout by the UAE security detail.
According to one government source, it was clear that Hamas – which was plainly unhappy that an Israeli delegation was allowed to attend the IRENA conference – was now using allegations of Mossad involvement in Mabhouh’s death as a way to embarrass the UAE.
Mahmoud Zahar, a senior Hamas official in the Gaza Strip, on Saturday accused Israeli agents accompanying Landau to the UAE two weeks ago of assassinating the operative.
Interviewed on Al-Jazeera, Zahar suggested that the agents might have entered the country with forged documents.AP contributed to this report.