A story in a leading British paper contained the first direct report linking Israel to the assassination of Hamas senior official Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in Dubai last month.

According to a lengthy and detailed report in The Sunday Times, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu personally congratulated members of the Mossad team that allegedly killed Mabhouh ahead of their departure to Dubai.

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The paper reports that the Mossad assessed the mission was not deemed as unusually risky or complicated.

According to the report, Mossad agents tracked Mabhouh and confirmed his movements from his departure in Damascus, with an agent there at the airport even confirming by text message that the plane on which Mabhouh was traveling had taken off.

Other agents also shadowed Mabhouh along his route, sending messages to the hitmen every step of the way that he was nearing his destination.

The Sunday Times also reports that the agents knew they were being filmed by security cameras but that Israel was surprised at the efficiency of Dubai’s police in assembling all the raw footage into a coherent narrative.

“The operative teams were very much aware of the CCTV in Dubai, but they have been astonished at the ability of the Dubai police to reconstruct and assemble all the images into one account,” an unnamed Israeli source is quoted by the paper as saying.

The Jerusalem Post could not confirm The Sunday Times report.

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