Mabhouh 311 AP.
(photo credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS)
Dubai police officials claimed on Saturday they expected to soon announce they have firm evidence that the Mossad was involved in the killing last month of Hamas military commander Mahmoud al-Mabhouh.
Records of credit card payments and cellphone calls made by members of the 11-person hit squad that entered Dubai on European passports would provide the details needed to tie the assassination of Mabhouh to the Mossad, the police said.
Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon denied on Saturday that Israel was behind the killing in Dubai or that it would damage Israeli-European relations.
“There is nothing linking Israel to the assassination of Mabhouh,” Ayalon said at an event in Rehovot. “Britain, Germany and France are partners to the ongoing struggle against global terrorism, so I’m certain there won’t be a crisis.”
Instead, said Ayalon, “relations will only grow stronger” due to this cooperation.
In an interview published on Saturday, French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner told Le Journal du Dimanche
that Mabhouh’s assassination was further proof of the need for peace in the Middle East.
“[The affair] shows the need for peace and a Palestinian state, immediately,” Kouchner told the French paper.
A Hamas legislator said on Saturday that the Izzadin Kassam cofounder, who was found dead in a Dubai hotel room on January 20, put himself at risk by booking his trip through the Internet.
Salah Bardawil also told a news conference that the slain man took additional risk by informing his Gaza family by telephone at which hotel he would be staying.
Hamas also claimed on Friday that two ex-officers from Fatah were involved in Mabhouh’s assassination, and Fatah shot back by insinuating that Hamas members were the ones who had collaborated with the killers.
A Hamas Web site, the Palestine Information Center, said those two men were former Fatah security officers and current employees of a senior Fatah official, who was not identified. Dubai authorities have not identified the two Palestinians and would not comment on Friday.
Hamas stopped short of accusing Fatah of collaborating with the Mossad, however. Izzat al-Rishq, a member of Hamas’s leadership in Damascus, told The Associated Press that Hamas was “not accusing any party” other than Israel, though he said the killers might have used “small collaborators for logistic issues.”
The Hamas Web site identified the two men as Anwar Shheibar and Ahmad Hassanain. It says they served in Fatah’s security services in Gaza, fled the Strip in 2006, and currently work for a construction company owned by high-ranking Fatah official Muhammad Dahlan.
Dahlan denied any connection to the men or to the killing, telling the Kuwait-based Gulf News daily in an interview published on Friday that Hamas was “following mirages created by Israel.”
A Fatah spokesman also denied the allegations.
“Hamas is trying by these accusations to cover up the security
flaws in the first lines of its leadership,” said Adnan Damiri, a
spokesman for Palestinian Authority security forces in the West Bank.
“Hamas is the only one to know the movement of Mabhouh, and from there
the information went to the Israelis.”
PA officials in Ramallah
said the two men were former members of Fatah who later joined Hamas
security forces in Gaza. They said the men were sent to Dubai on Hamas
business last month but had no further details.