LIVE Miliband's statement on Israel

LIVE: David Miliband's statement, minute-by-minute, The Foreign Secretary's statement to the House of Commons, where he blamed Israel for the use of fake British passports. Add your comments below.


By Jessica Elgot, March 23, 2010
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David Miliband: His statement to the House of Commons, live.

David Miliband: His statement to the House of Commons, live.

Ambassador Ron Prosor was summoned to the Foreign Office yesterday and told that Britain formally blames Israel for the cloning of up to 15 British passports during the Dubai operation.

The Foreign Secretary was to have been the guest of honour at today's rededication of the Israeli embassy building after two years of renovation.

The JC understands that today’s expected move against Israeli diplomats in London is based on what the UK government believes is compelling evidence from the investigation by the Serious Organised Crime Agency into cloning of British passports as part of the alleged assassination by Mossad of Hamas leader Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in January.

The JC will be updating live as Mr Miliband makes his statement at the House of Commons.

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14.00 A statement from David Miliband is due in the House of Commons at 3.30pm GMT. The Daily Telegraph has claimed that a senior Israel figure has already left the country, believed to be a Mossad representative in London.

14.13 The Foreign Secretary's anger is directed at the use of forged British passports. He isn't expected to make any comment on the assassination itself.

15.01 A French judicial official has told Haaretz that the Paris prosecutor's office has opened an investigation for suspected forgery and identity theft linked to the four fake French passports allegedly used by the hit squad in Dubai.

15.24 Miliband's speech to the Commons isn't expected to be very long- around 15 minutes. But he is booked in to do the rounds of the TV studios where he is likely to be grilled, as is the Israeli ambassador, Ron Prosor. Mr Prosor is also expected to make numerous TV appearances after the announcement. We'll keep you posted as to where.

15.27 We still aren't clear on a name for the expelled official, but the Daily Telegraph are calling them "Mossad's man in London". S/he may have left the country already.

15.34 We're waiting for the end of Justice Questions with Jack Straw before Miliband makes his speech. Should be very soon...

15.37 Miliband starts his speech. He says that Soca is still making enquiry but have submitted a report to the cabinet

15.39 Miliband says that the individuals whose passports were used were victims of identity theft. The UK had no involvement in the killing and no warning of it.

15.40 "The government judges it highly likely that a government agency was involved in the forgery". Miliband accuses Israel of forging the passports and call such an action by an ally "adding insult to injury".

15.41Miliband told Lieberman of his "deep concerns" over the incident yesterday - has sought a formal assurance this will never happen again- demands highest standards of trust.

15.42 "A member of the Israeli embassy has been asked to return to Israel" - Miliband does not spell out who but says this is being done.

15.43 Biometric passports have been issued to all British citizens involved in the fake passports.

15.43 The FCO is AMENDING TRAVEL ADVICE TO ISRAEL.

15.44 William Hague has called Miliband's actions "right and proper". He welcomed Israel's co-operation. He asks about investigations of the other countries involved eg. Ireland, France, Germany. He asks for assurance this will never happen again.

15.45 Mr Hague asks if British passports are more vulnerable to counterfeit.

15.47 Mr Miliband has made no link between Israel and the actual assassination.

15.48 Hague says Lieberman should be aware that Miliband's letter to him comes with the full support of the House of Commons

15.49 Miliband says the FCO keeps its travel advice constantly updated so will keep review its advice for British citizens travelling to Israel.

15.53 Gerald Kaufman is asking a question...

15.54 Gerald Kaufman calls the staff in Ben Gurion crooked, and claims they probably have Miliband's passport cloned.

15.55 Miliband "Israel has a huge amount to gain from adhering to international law."

15.56 The person expelled from the embassy WAS linked to the investigation by Soca, Miliband confirmed. Not just someone randomly selected by the embassy, in other words.

15.59 Some in the chamber making gruff noises when it was revealed that the individual who was expelled WAS linked to the passport forgery. Seem to think he got off lightly...

16.00 A STATEMENT RELEASED BY THE IRISH DEPARTMENT OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS.

Spokeswoman Olive Nagle said: "Our focus remains on trying to establish the facts surrounding this incident, and we are working with our EU partners and the authorities in the United States Emirates to establish what has happened. We will not be commenting on the action that has been taken by Britain."

16.01 Jeremy Corbyn asks if Miliband believes the Israeli government was involved in the murder. He also suggests that the expulsion should have been higher up the chain.

16.02 Miliband said it would not have been helpful to have sent home the Israeli ambassador, or to have removed the British ambassador.

16.03 Sir Menzies Campbell presse Miliband to say that Israel carried out the murder in Dubai. Miliband refuses and says that is for the UAE authorities to investigate.

16.05 Miliband says he believes that the Foreign Office takes at face value everything Lieberman has told him about the assassination - that Israel was not involved.

16.06 Miliband reiterates the expelled diplomate WAS specifically selected... "This is not a random selection. This is not a selction by the government of Israel. It's a selection by us."

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The questions are over. Thank you for joining us. Tell us what you thought in the comments below

Last updated: 4:45pm, March 23 2010

COMMENTS

Jonathan Hoffman

Tue, 03/23/2010 - 16:29

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Will David Miliband comment on the alleged use by MI6 of forged Swiss passports, as suggested by Peter Hitchens in the Mail?


moshetzarfati2 (not verified)

Tue, 03/23/2010 - 16:45

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Great speech by wee william hague, reminding us of Maggie's removal of Arye Regev in 1987 and Shimon Peres's assurance then that they wouldn't do it again. How to lose friends and alienate people, that should be Israel's motto. Still seeking to justify all Israel's actions, eh Johnathan.


moshetzarfati2 (not verified)

Tue, 03/23/2010 - 16:50

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Are Hague and IDS going to be barred from the CFI?


mattpryor

Tue, 03/23/2010 - 16:52

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What a load of fuss over nothing.

The civilised world has far more pressing concerns.


moshetzarfati2 (not verified)

Tue, 03/23/2010 - 16:55

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Apologists of the world unite. You have nothing to lose but your crib sheets


Jonathan Hoffman

Tue, 03/23/2010 - 16:58

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"Gerald Kaufman calls the staff in Ben Gurion crooked ..... "

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/mps-expenses/5330816/Sir-Gera...

This from the MP who claimed £8,865 for a TV and regularly claimed £245 a month for "odd jobs", £5 below the £250 threshold where receipts were required!


moshetzarfati2 (not verified)

Tue, 03/23/2010 - 17:04

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Talking of civilised, here's what Israeli fascist MK Arye Eldad told Sky News: "I think [the] British are behaving hypocritically and I don't want to offend dogs on this issue, since some dogs are utterly loyal."


moshetzarfati2 (not verified)

Tue, 03/23/2010 - 17:13

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Told you that Kaufman speaking was an Emmanuel Goldstein moment for the ZF.


Jonathan Hoffman

Tue, 03/23/2010 - 18:22

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Miliband and Hague know that the Hamas terrorist who was killed in Dubai was as much a danger to the UK as he was to Israel.


moshetzarfati2 (not verified)

Tue, 03/23/2010 - 18:29

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Is that the spin from Danny Ayalon, Jonathan? Is he a mind reader? Is that why Hague reminded us that Maggie chucked out Arye Regev, Mossad man here, and suspended intelligence ties in 1988 over a similar faux pas? Is the Israeli government to be believed after it has already reneged on a promise not to use UK passports?


Yvetta

Tue, 03/23/2010 - 18:36

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Much ado about nothing, and the row should be quickly laid to rest. I've seen plenty of non-Jews say on various blogs that they would have willingly lent the assassins of an anti-western terrorist their British passports.
Wee Willie and Boy David had better realise that Britain's fate is entwined with Israel's. We stand or fall together.


moshetzarfati2 (not verified)

Tue, 03/23/2010 - 18:52

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What? Yvetta? Hamas? Shurely shome mishtake...Is that what Danny A told you to write, to discredit Yvetta? What's she done? Is she off CFI's christmas card list like Hague and IDS?


Yvetta

Tue, 03/23/2010 - 18:54

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Nay, Jonathan, that poster is on top of me ;~}


Yvetta

Tue, 03/23/2010 - 18:54

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Twice in one afternoon! ;~}


Jonathan Hoffman

Tue, 03/23/2010 - 18:59

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Neither Miliband nor Hague said that the end did not justify the means......

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/columnists/melanie_reid/article...

To the cyberstalker above me: Is that the spin from Hamas?


moshetzarfati2 (not verified)

Tue, 03/23/2010 - 19:01

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Phwoar....This is getting more and more like a Carry On film


mattpryor

Tue, 03/23/2010 - 19:16

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Yvetta: This here non-Jew has written to the the ZF, the Israeli embassy and the MFA to give them my support on this issue, as I frequently do.


Jonathan Hoffman

Wed, 03/24/2010 - 01:08

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@mattpryor

Thank you

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