Dubai assassination: Dubai wants Israel Prime Minister Netanyahu behind bars
Lt. Gen. Dahi Khalfan Tamim, the man leading the investigation into the Dubai assassination of Hamas figure Mahmoud al-Mabhouh, has called for the arrest of Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
The warning adds to the series of threats that Lt. Gen. Dahi Khalfan Tamim has lodged in recent days against Israel, whom he said “insulted” the United Arab Emirates (UAE) by allegedly carrying out the Jan. 19 assassination here. Dubai, a trade, tourism and banking center is the second largest of the Emirates.
While a warrant may have little practical effect – Israeli leader Benjamin Netanyahu does not need to worry about being handcuffed imminently – it is likely meant to heighten the pressure and public anger against his government.
Israeli officials have so far not commented on the call for Mr. Netanyahu’s arrest.
On Wednesday, Australian police officials arrived in Israel to investigate the use of three Australian passports by the alleged assassins. The names on the passports are shared by three Australians who immigrated to Israel and Australian officials have said they suspect the three were victims of identity theft.
List of threats grows
On Monday Tamim said that Israeli citizens traveling on second passports would no longer be allowed into the United Arab Emirates. Because the two countries do not have diplomatic relations, Israelis are legally banned from visiting the UAE, though some have been granted entry.
Last week he challenged Mossad chief Meir Dagan to “be a man” and admit that his agency killed Mabhouh. The senior figure in the Palestinian Islamic group had been wanted for helping kidnap two Israeli solders and was allegedly smuggling arms from Iran to Gaza.
Earlier in the investigation, Tamim had threatened to seek the arrest of Dagan and Netanyahu.
Israeli officials have faced the threat of foreign arrest warrants before.
In December 2009, a British court issued an arrest warrant for former foreign minister and now opposition leader Tzipi Livni, for her role in Israel’s war in Gaza the year before. The warrant was quickly withdrawn, but not before creating a furor in Israel.