'Australia had Mossad issues in past'

Former Palestinian envoy tells 'The Australian' warnings were ignored in 2004.

mabhouh assassins 311 (photo credit: AP)
mabhouh assassins 311
(photo credit: AP)
Australia has had problems with the Mossad trying to "clean" passports in the past, a former Palestinian envoy to Australia was quoted as saying Thursday. The comments came just hours after Australian Foreign Minister Stephen Smith summoned Israel's ambassador and demanded his cooperation in an investigation into the use of the passports in Mabhouh's killing.
The Australian quoted Ali Kazak as saying that he had warned the Howard government of the problem back in 2004, and that he had been "vindicated by confirmation that cloned Australian passports" had been used in the assassination of Hamas terrorist Mahmoud al-Mabhouh.
"I told you but you didn't act on the warning," he was quoted as saying. "And you've put Australian lives at risk."
He added that he was sure that Mossad agents had killed the Hamas operative. "Yesterday the Israeli members of parliament were praising the head of Mossad for what he did - for assassinating the Hamas leader in Dubai," Kazak said.
"This neglect, this appeasement, this closing of eyes towards Israel is putting Israel's interest above Australia," he added.
Former Australian foreign minister Alexander Downer, however, rejected the Palestinian's claim, according to The Australian.
Downer claimed that the Howard government had warned Israel not to usefake Australian passports in intelligence operations. "We have raisedthe issue of Israeli intelligence officers using foreign passports andthat they should not consider using Australian passports," he wasquoted as saying.
Dubai authorities are investigating the use of at least 26 possiblyfraudulent passports in connection with the January 19 slaying of in ahotel room in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The suspects using foreignpassports are 12 Britons, six Irish, four French, three Australian andone German.
Atleast seven of the 26 passports share names with people living inIsrael, reinforcing widespread suspicion about Mossad involvement andbringing sharp complaints from European ambassadors about how theexpertly altered passports were obtained.