Australia expels Israeli diplomat

By Jennifer Lipman, May 24, 2010
Mahmoud al-Mabhouh

Mahmoud al-Mabhouh

Israel has expressed disappointment after another diplomat was expelled over the murder of a Hamas leader in January.

The Australian government expelled an unnamed Israeli diplomat today, saying it had no doubt Israel was behind the forged passports linked with Mahmoud al-Mabhouh’s death in a Dubai hotel.

Israeli has denied responsibility for the killing but at least four passports belonging to Australians living in Israel were used in the mission.

Yigal Palmor, from the Israeli foreign ministry, said Israel regretted the deci s ion.

He added: “It is not in line with the importance and the quality of the relationship between our countries".

Australian Foreign Minister Stephen Smith said the expulsion was not something which filled the Australian government with any joy.

He said: "On the contrary, the decision was made much more in sorrow than in anger."

The British government expelled an Israeli diplomat in March after 12 British passports were found to have been used in the Dubai operation.

Last updated: 2:56pm, May 24 2010