Mabhouh 311 AP.
(photo credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS)
Top Australian politicians were at odds on Tuesday over the expulsion of an Israeli diplomat the previous day.
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Australian Foreign Foreign Minister Stephen Smith charged that Opposition foreign affairs spokeswoman Julie Bishop was "not fit to occupy a position of trust," over her response to the affair, according to The Australian. Smith had earlier accused his country's opposition of choosing to ignore the affair in question, in which Hamas official Mahmoud al-Mabhouh was killed in a Dubai hotel room in January.
Another paper, the Sydney Morning Herald
, cited a Tuesday claim from Bishop that the Australian government in fact engages in passport forgery. The charge came after Bishop accused Australia Prime Minister Kevin Rudd's government of over-reacting to the investigation which concluded that Israel was responsible for forging four Australian passports that were used in the Mabhouh assassination.
“It would be naive to think that Israel is the only country in the
world that has used forged passports, including Australian passports,
for security operations," the Sydney Morning Herald quoted her as
When specifically asked if Australia forges documents, she reportedly said "yes."
When the expulsion decision was announced on Monday, Smith had told
Parliament that the operation to kill Mabhouh was not the first time
Israel had forged Australian travel documents. He did not elaborate on
previous incidents, but said the latest transgression breached
"confidential undertakings" between the two countries.