Ireland expels Israeli diplomat

Investigation concludes Israel responsible for forged passports used.

June 15, 2010 15:03
1 minute read.
CCTV footage from Dubai.

dubai cctv 311. (photo credit: AP)

Ireland expelled an Israeli diplomat on Tuesday, in reaction to the Dubai assassination of Hamas commander Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in January.

The move was an expression of displeasure by the Irish government over the use of forged Irish and other countries' passports in the suspected Mossad hit, though Irish Foreign Minister Michael Martin stated that Dublin had not found any direct evidence connecting Israel to the use of Irish passports. The decision to expel the diplomat, he said, was prompted by evidence found by other countries whose passports had been forged, which implicated Israel in the act.

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Israeli officials had expressed hope in March in the aftermath of the assassination that Ireland would not follow Britain’s lead and expel Israeli diplomats.

Israel has refused to confirm or deny its agents' involvement, though Dubai officials say assassins using 32 fake passports participated in the hit squad.

Irish Foreign Minister Micheal Martin said Tuesday his government was expelling one member of Israel's embassy staff in Dublin after an investigation reached "the inescapable conclusion that an Israeli government agency was responsible."

Martin said that the unnamed official was not being specifically blamed for forging passports.

Eight Irish passports were allegedly used by the presumed hit squad that killed Mabhouh.

Herb Keinon contributed to this report

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