In a rare allegation, Britain accused its ally of forging passports used in January's Dubai assassination of a Hamas operative. The diplomatic fallout could be significant, with Netanyahu – in Washington today – already facing strained US ties.
Britain is reportedly expelling an Israeli diplomat on today over suspected involvement in the Dubai assassination of a top Hamas operative. Britain accused its ally Israel of forging up to a dozen British passports that Dubai police say were used by Mossad agents to kill Mahmoud Mabhouh in January.
Though Britain stopped short of saying it had concrete proof Israeli involvement in the killing of Mabhouh, the diplomatic punishment is a rare allegation by a Western ally of involvement in a covert assassination. A spokesman for the Israeli foreign ministry confirmed that Ambassador Ron Prosor was summoned to London's Foreign Ministry on Monday, but would not comment the reported expulsion.
The bump in relations is ill-timed for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is in Washington trying to defuse US tensions over new building in East Jerusalem and an impasse in the renewal of negotiations with the Palestinians. With Dubai police alleging that Australian, French, and Irish passports were also used in the Dubai assassination plot, other countries may follow Britain's lead.